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Boy (15) awarded €26,000 for injuries suffered in road crash

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A teenager, whose Chechnian family history may have made him more susceptible to the effect of psychological injuries arising from a road traffic accident has had a €26,000 damages settlement approved.

David Kearney, counsel for 15-year-old Abdul-Malik Zubayraev, of Mayfield Park, Clondalkin, Dublin, told Judge John O'Connor in the Circuit Civil Court that the boy's older brother had been abducted for quite some time during the Chechen-Russian conflict.

Mr Kearney, who appeared with HJ Ward Solicitors for the boy, told the court Abdul-Malik had been involved in a road traffic accident in November 2017 and initially thought his friend, who had been knocked unconscious in the collision, was dead.

He said the boy's father's car, in whose vehicle he had been a rear-seat passenger, had been hit by another car during an overtaking manoeuvre.

The boy had afterwards suffered with persistent post-traumatic stress disorder as well as neck and lower-back injuries which had resolved.

Mr Kearney told Judge O'Connor the boy's mother, Ruana Zubayraev, had not been happy with the €26,000 settlement offer as she did not believe it reflected the seriousness of her son's injuries.

Abdul-Malik had undergone surgery in Russia to resolve a knee injury which medical experts had been unable to link to the Dublin car accident.

Medical opinion was that the knee injury, a muscular tear, had been caused by a twisting motion and more likely to have been due to a sporting trauma.

Mr Kearney said if the knee damage could have been proved to be a feature of the car accident it would have added significant value to the boy's case.

Judge O'Connor said during the remote hearing he understood the concerns of the boy's parent who had taken issue with the medical diagnosis, but unless she was able to produce independent evidence of the boy's knee injury being due to the car accident she was not going to be able to sustain a case in court.

Mr Kearney told the court he had spoken at length with Abdul-Malik's mother and, while she was not particularly happy with the settlement offer she was prepared to accept it given the safeguards provided by the court hearing.

Judge O'Connor said he would not be shy about rejecting the €26,000 offer if he considered it was not good enough, but unless there was additional medical evidence before the court the boy's knee injury could not be taken into consideration.

Irish Independent