Saturday 16 December 2017

Man who was severely injured in car collision awarded €1.9m

The High Court, Dublin
The High Court, Dublin

Tim Healy

A man who was severely injured when the car in which he was a passenger crashed in to a pole has settled his High Court action for €1.9million.

Kareem Al Balooty (56), originally from Iraq and now living in Limerick, suffered a traumatic brain injury in the accident.

His counsel, Liam Reidy, said Mr Al Balooty was a back seat passenger in the car which lost control before colliding with a pole.

He does not recall if he was wearing a seat belt or not and, counsel said, those in the car who were wearing seat belts were all uninjured.

Mr Al Balooty came five years ago from Iraq where he had previously held a position of prominence and was in charge of 2,000 people in the Ministry for Oil.

He had sued the driver of the car, Monam Hassan, of Catletroy, Limerick, over the accident on November 28, 2012 on the M7 outside Portlaoise.

He claimed Mr Hassan was driving in a manner which was dangerous having regard to the nature of the highway and the condition of the vehicle and there was also an alleged failure to properly maintain the vehicle.

The claims were denied and Mr Hassan's side contended there was contributory negligence on behalf of Mr Al Balooty who, it was alleged, was not wearing a seat belt.

Counsel said Mr Al Balooty, who had been in a coma for a number of days after the accident, made a remarkable recovery.

He can walk with crutches and now resides in a nursing home in Limerick.

While he could previously speak four languages, he has now lost linguistic skills, counsel said.

Mr Reidy said  only issue in relation to the accident was whether there was black ice on the road. A witness said he was aware the road was slippery, but the driver of the car said he was unaware.

Approving the settlement Mr Justice Kevin Cross wished Mr Al Balooty and his carers well for the future.

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