Monday 21 May 2018

€4m for woman hit by car after getting off a bus outside her national school

Kirsty Scally leaves the High Court in Dublin with her father James. Photo: Collins Courts
Kirsty Scally leaves the High Court in Dublin with her father James. Photo: Collins Courts

Tim Healy

A woman has settled her High Court action for €4m over a serious brain injury she suffered when she was knocked down by a car after she got off a bus as a schoolgirl.

Kirsty Scally (21) was 13 when she suffered catastrophic injuries after she had just got off a Bus Éireann bus outside a school in Co Offaly.

The court heard the bus had gone past the bus stop and stopped near a bend on the road. She got off the bus and "the inevitable happened" when a car came at speed around the bend, he said.

Ms Scally, of Ballyheashill, Rhode, Co Offaly, through her mother, Angela Scally, sued Bus Éireann and the car driver Kenneth Dunne, of St Patrick's Road, Edenderry, Co Offaly. During the proceedings, Bus Éireann was released from the case and the defence of the claim was taken over by Mr Dunne's insurance company.

The accident happened outside Ballybryan National School, Rhode, on February 20, 2009. Ms Justice Bronagh O'Hanlon was told it had been previously agreed the defendant in the case should be held 60pc liable in the case and contributory negligence on behalf of the schoolgirl was 40pc.

Counsel for Ms Scally said the settlement reflected this.

It was claimed Ms Scally went to the rear of the bus to cross the road with other children but was struck by a car and thrown some distance in to the air before coming to rest on the side of the road.

It was further claimed the car driver drove at a speed which was excessive, given the driver was young and inexperienced.

It was also claimed he drove a car in which the forward vision was restricted by the post-manufacture application of a sun visor strip along the top portion of the front windscreen.

The court was told Ms Scally managed, after making a physical recovery, to return to school and also studied a business and tourism course.

With the help of her parents, Angela and James, she has a good quality of life but never the one she should have had, her counsel said. Approving the settlement Ms Justice O'Hanlon said what happened was a great tragedy.

Irish Independent

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