€7.5m payout for boy over pregnant mum's crash
A boy who suffered a brain injury just before his birth after his mother was thrown from a car while on her way to have a final pregnancy scan has settled his legal action for €7.5m.
Cian Hammel (now 8) had to be delivered by emergency caesarean section in hospital after his 17-year-old mother, who was a passenger in the seven-seater car, was thrown from the vehicle when it overtook another car, went out of control, and ended up overturned in a field.
The High Court was told that the driver of the car was not insured at the time of the incident.
Róisín Hammel had been on her way for a final scan a few days before her due date.
Cian, of Ford Court, Kilmuckridge, Co Wexford, through his grandmother Ann Hammel, sued the driver of the car she was in, Simon Jordan, of Monaseed, High Fort, Gorey, Co Wexford.
The Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI), which compensates victims of uninsured driving, was also sued as a result of the accident on February 3, 2009 near Manhanagh, Screen, Co Wexford.
It was claimed the vehicle, which was driven by Mr Jordan, went out of control and turned over causing Cian's mother Ms Hammel, who was in a rear seat, to be thrown from the vehicle.
It was further claimed that Mr Jordan had overtaken another vehicle when it was not safe to do so and he was allegedly driving at a speed that was, in all the circumstances, including the weather conditions, excessive.
The claims were denied.
Senior Counsel Rosario Boyle told the court that Ms Hammel, who was studying for her Leaving Cert, had accepted a lift to attend her final scan.
Counsel said Ms Hammel was not wearing a seat belt, but the MIBI later accepted and acknowledged that, had she been wearing a seat belt, the outcome for Cian would not have been better.
She said Ms Hammel's waters broke and she had to have an emergency caesarean section in hospital due to foetal distress.
Ms Hammel, counsel said, was told to expect the worst and when Cian was born, he had to be resuscitated and there was multi-organ failure.
The boy now has difficulty walking and is unsteady on his feet and also has difficulties with language.
Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the settlement.