Thursday 16 August 2018

Father of children injured in car accident 'unhappy' with €37,500 damages settlement

Graham Comiskey pictured leaving the Four Courts after the Circuit Civil Court approved amounts of €17,500 and €20,000 damages for his sons. Pic: Collins Courts
Graham Comiskey pictured leaving the Four Courts after the Circuit Civil Court approved amounts of €17,500 and €20,000 damages for his sons. Pic: Collins Courts

Ray Managh

The father of two children, injured in a car accident, told a judge Thursday that he was not happy with the €37,500 damages the court had approved as adequate compensation.

One son (9) was offered a settlement of €20,000 for a suspected fracture of his left arm and his brother (7) was offered €17,500 damages in relation to soft tissue injuries.

Barrister John Nolan, who appeared with Tracey Solicitors for the children, told Judge Terence O’Sullivan in the Circuit Civil Court that while he was recommending the court’s approval of the settlements he had to inform the court that the boys’ father, Graham Comiskey, was not satisfied with either settlement.

“While the boys have sued through their father, Mr Comiskey, I have to consider the interests of the children and I do not believe they would gain higher awards in a full trial and may even be awarded much less,” Mr Nolan said.

Graham Comiskey addressed the court and said he had seen the Book of Quantum with regard to compensation for such injuries and the settlements proffered were at the lower end of suggested damages.

He said he did not agree to the court’s acceptance of either settlement offer and asked was it possible for him to appeal should the judge go ahead and approve the settlements. 

Judge O'Sullivan said it was not for the court to advise him on legal matters but he agreed with Mr Nolan that there was a risk to the children’s compensation in not approving them which he was going to do in their interests.

Judge O’Sullivan spent 10 minutes explaining to Mr Comiskey that before a different judge the children may be awarded less than they had been offered if their cases went to a full trial.  He was satisfied appropriate compensation fell between €15,000 and €20,000.

Mr Nolan said he had explained this to Mr Comiskey who was still intent on opposing acceptance of the offers. He had to leave it in the hands of the court.

Judge O’Sullivan said he was approving both settlement offers and directed that the monies be paid into court funds on behalf of the children.

“Any decision of the Circuit Court can be appealed,” he told Mr Comiskey who did not confirm to the court whether or not he would appeal.

The boys were injured in a car accident which occurred on March 26, 2016 and had sued an insured motorist, Dusan Gabor (correct) through their father.

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