Saturday 17 August 2019

Man (32) who suffered serious brain injuries after car he was passenger in hit tree settles damages action for €4.65m

The High Court, Dublin
The High Court, Dublin

Aodhan O'Faolain

A 32-year-old man who suffered serious brain injuries when a car he was a passenger in collided with a tree has settled his High Court damages action for €4.65m.

The award was made to former car salesman, Dane Craigie, who was was injured in the collision on September 17, 2008, at Bellinter, Navan, Co Meath where construction and excavation works were being carried out.

Mr Craigie suffered severe traumatic brain injuries from which he has never fully recovered.

After he was taken to hospital, he spent a long time in intensive care and now lives in a nursing home, requiring ongoing care. 

Mr Craigie of Warrenstown, Drumree, Co Meath, sued several parties for alleged negligence, nuisance and breach of duty of care.

They included Meath Co Council and SIAC Cintra Ferrovial, trading as M3 Motorway Joint Venture, the company which had been carrying out the roadworks.

He sought damages against the company and the council in regards to the alleged maintenance and upkeep of the roadway.

He also sued the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI), Linda Farrell Kilcarn Court, Navan, who it was alleged was the driver of the vehicle on the date of the accident, the vehicle owner, Kelly Mathews, of Ringlestown, Co Meath, and Ray Smyth, the owner of a garage in Navan Co Meath where the vehicle was allegedly being kept for the purpose of repair and onward sale.

He claimed those parties were responsible for his injuries due to their alleged negligence in the manner the motor vehicle had been driven, controlled, used, managed and maintained.  

All of the defendants had denied the claims they had been negligent.

As part of the defence it had been argued Mr Craigie contributed to his own misfortune, and had exposed himself to risk and injury because he had not been wearing a seat belt at the time.

Jonathan Kilfeather SC, for Mr Craigie, told the court the realistic full value of the case was in the region of €7m.

Counsel said there were difficulties in proving liability and, in the circumstances, his client was prepared to accept a settlement offer of two thirds of the full value which came to some €4.65m.

The settlement was approved by Mr Justice Kevin Cross on Thursday. 

The judge also praised Dane's mother who he said had provided her son with a great level of care since his accident.

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