Girl who saw twin brother crushed to death by bin lorry settles €100,000 action
Published 14/05/2015 | 18:02
A GIRL who saw her twin brother crushed to death by a bin lorry when he ran after a tennis ball has settled her High Court action for €100,000.
Rose Margaret McDonagh (now 8) was only three when the accident happened as the twins played outside their Donegal home on February 16, 2010.
The ball rolled down a hill and Rose Margaret's brother, Patrick, ran after it.
Patrick was bending down to pick up the ball when the refuse truck rolled over him.
Mr Justice Anthony Barr was told that it has taken the McDonagh family years to come to terms with the tragic and untimely death of Patrick.
The twins were very close and had communciated through their own language, the court heard.
Rose Margaret, of Ballymacool Wood, Letterkenny, had through her mother Shirley McDonagh, sued Ferrys Refuse Collection Ltd, trading as Ferrys Refuse of Rossbracken, Letterkenny, Co Donegal.
The court heard the lorry driver was later cleared of dangerous driving causing the death of the little boy.
It was claimed Rose Margaret suffered post traumatic stress disorder after witnessing the accident.
The aftermath was very harrowing, it was further claimed, as the little girl saw her father kneeling beside her dead brother screaming.
She accompanied her father to the hospital and it was claimed, despite her tender years. she was aware of what had occurred.
It was further claimed the little girl was disturbed for months after the accident.
It was claimed there was an alleged failure to stop the refuse vehicle immediately when a bump was felt and instead a presumption was made it was a manhole and the manoeuvre continued.
It was further claimed there was a failure to turn the vehicle at the bottom of the road rather than reversing into the cul de sac in a manner which, it was alleged, was unsafe and dangerous.
The claims were denied.
Mr Justice Barr said it was a reasonable settlement and noted Patrick and Rose Margarets' parents were happy with it.
In a separate case taken by Mrs McDonagh, a settlement of €50,000 was announced to the court in relation to expenses incurred by the family over the accident and its aftermath.
The court was also told the, Patrick and Shirley, had previously settled an action for mental distress in relation to the accident.