Saturday 21 September 2019

€80,000 damages for crash victim left scarred for life by her own sunglasses

Lorna Bentley (50), of Lusk, Co Dublin, pictured leaving the Four Courts after she was awarded €80,000. Photo: Collins Courts
Lorna Bentley (50), of Lusk, Co Dublin, pictured leaving the Four Courts after she was awarded €80,000. Photo: Collins Courts

Tim Healy

A woman scarred by her sunglasses when her car was hit from behind has been awarded more than €80,000 damages by the High Court.

Lorna Bentley's sunglasses were on top of her head at the time of the crash.

When the impact happened, the airbag deployed and the glasses fell on her face causing her to suffer extensive cuts to her face, particularly her left cheek.

Ms Bentley (50), a mother of two, from The Commons, Lusk, Co Dublin, sued the driver of the car which hit hers - Liam Nolan of Thorndale Lawn, Artane, Dublin.

The accident happened on June 2, 2016, on Drumcondra Road, Dublin, when she was stationary in a line of traffic.

Liability was not an issue in the case and Mr Justice Anthony Barr assessed damages at €80,550.

The judge said the main aspect of Ms Bentley's injuries concerned the scarring to her face, although she also suffered soft tissue injuries along with bruising.

Two years on, she continues to experience facial pain associated with the scarring and has continuing psychological difficulties.

A plastic surgeon thought it unlikely the scars would improve hugely with the passage of time, the judge said.

Ms Bentley told the court she was self-conscious of the scarring. It was particularly difficult as a divorced woman because she was now facing the prospect of returning to build a social life of her own.

The judge awarded her €30,000 for pain and suffering to date, €45,000 for future suffering and special damages of €5,550, totalling €80,550.

The court heard a higher offer of €93,000 to settle had been made before the case to Ms Bentley's side.

Her lawyer said this came at the 11th hour - although this was disputed by Mr Nolan.

A refusal to accept a tender offer has consequences for costs orders, which Mr Justice Barr will deal with in the new year.

Irish Independent

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