Thursday 18 December 2014

Spanish student hit by bus awarded €9m for 'catastrophic injuries'

Published 07/05/2014 | 02:30

Hans Peter Tesch, father of Carlos Tesch, inset, leaving the Four Courts yesterday
Hans Peter Tesch, father of Carlos Tesch, inset, leaving the Four Courts yesterday

A SPANISH student who suffered catastrophic injuries when he was hit by a bus has settled his High Court action for €9m.

Carlos Tesch, from Madrid, was only 12 years old and learning English here when the tragic accident occurred in Bray, Co Wicklow, on February 4, 2009.

The boy suffered severe head injuries, including a fracture to the base of his skull, and cannot now fully walk or speak. He is dependant on others in every feature of his life.

Through his father, Hans, he sued Dublin Bus which was found to be 70pc liable for the accident. The company appealed and the Supreme Court upheld the decision, sending the case back to the High Court to decide how much he should receive.

Yesterday, Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the €9m settlement.

The court previously heard the schoolboy moved on to the road because he was fearful when he and his friends saw a group of older Irish boys who, it was alleged, had been involved in a confrontation with the younger Spanish boys before.

Carlos was with a number of Spanish friends on Herbert Road, Bray, when he ran into the road to get away from the youths who allegedly previously confronted the students verbally, while brandishing hurleys.

The students were a short distance up Herbert Road and had reached a lamp post when Carlos suddenly ran across the road and the bus, which was coming behind him, hit him. He suffered severe head injuries rendering him unable to walk or talk and requiring life-long care.

Yesterday, Dermot Gleeson SC said his parents, Hans and Mar Tesch, had done everything to make their son's life better and the accident had transformed all their lives.

Carlos, who is now 18, has been taken to China twice for stem cell treatment. His father has given up his managerial job for a time to look after his son.

EVIDENCE

Outside court, Mr Tesch said before the accident his son could run, play football and enjoy himself with his friends, but now he can only walk unsteadily and cannot speak.

"Every day he is happy to be working with his therapists. We encourage him. He is now 18 years of age," he said.

Previously in the Supreme Court, Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne had said the evidence was that the bus was travelling at 40kmh in a 50kmh zone and the driver was "a very careful and safe driver".

Unfortunately, he was distracted by a conversation with a passenger in the seconds leading up to this tragic accident, she said.

Once Carlos stepped off the footpath, the bus driver reacted immediately and with "commendable alertness" and did what he could to stop the bus, she said.

Irish Independent

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