Boy seriously injured after crash involving alcoholic family friend settles for €1.5m
A NINE-year-old boy who suffered serious injuries in a car crash in which his sister and her best friend were killed has settled his High Court damages action for €1.5million.
John Logan was only four when he was a passenger in the car driven by Mary Carberry - an alcoholic who was uninsured and banned from driving - which crashed in to a mud embankment in Longford six years ago.
John's sister Michaela (9) and her friend, Mary Carberry's daughter Ava (6), were killed. Ava's sister Faith was also injured in the accident in 2007.
Mary Carberry, Clonguish Court, Newtownforbes, Co Longford was later sentenced to six years imprisonment with two years suspended in relation to the accident.
The president of the High Court Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns approved the settlement of €1.5million against the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland (MIBI), which compensates victims of uninsured drivers. The judge wished the little boy well in the future.
Outlining the case, Declan McGovern SC said John was a back seat passenger in the car when it the embankment outside Edgworthstown on November 26, 2007.
The boy was brought to Mullinagar Hospital and later transferred to the Children's Hosptial Crumlin. Counsel said John suffered an Erb's palsy injury to his arm and as a result of a head injury still has language and learning difficulties.
John, of Chambers Park, Kilcock, Co Kildare had sued through his aunt Stephanie Logan, the driver Ms Carberry, as well as a number of other parties.
The judge was told the settlement was only against the MIBI subject to the assignment of judgment against Ms Carberry, meaning she could be pursued in the future by the MIBI over the matter. The case against the other parties was struck out.
Last November, Ms Carberry's daughter, Faith Varden Carberry, who was also injured in the accident, settled her action for damages for €200,000 against the MIBI.
At an earlier hearing to decide liability in that case, the High Court heard from Faith's father Thomas Varden a Galway businessman, who said that when Mary Carberry was banned from driving, she put the children on the phone to him saying they were cold and wet walking the one and a half miles to school.
"She was was seeking for me to provide transport, purchase a car and somebody who was insured and had a full licence would drive it," he told the court.
He said he did not want to do it but when the children came on the phone saying they were cold and wet, it pulled at his heart strings.
He said Ms Carberry was in Alcoholics Anonymous at the time and seemed to be turning over a new leaf.
He bought a car for €14,000 but as Ms Carberry was banned from driving, somebody else would have to drive it, he said.
On the night of the accident he got a phone call from Mary, he said.
"She said Ava was dead and she thought Faith was dead too," he said.
He said when he got to the hospital he discovered Mary Carberry had been driving the car.
"I was angry. I am still very angry. No way would I have given the car to her if I thought she was going to use it that way. I trusted her,"he said.