Monday 24 September 2018

Retired barrister whose car was rear ended on motorway awarded €95k damages

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Stock picture

Tim Healy

A retired barrister whose car was rear ended on a motorway has been awarded €94,757 damages by the High Court.

Barbara Seligam (79), Mr Justice Anthony Barr said, gave a fair and accurate account of her injuries since the accident in 2014 and had not tried to exaggerate  her symptoms at all.

If anything, the judge said Ms Seligman tended to underplay her symptoms and the difficulties which they caused her at a particularly distressing time in her life when her late husband was terminally ill.

Mr Justice Barr said he was also satisfied Ms Seligman was at " the very opposite end of the spectrum to what may be termed a malingerer."

The judge said she had dealt with other very serious health issues and faced them with great courage   and she had gone on to live for almost ten years after receiving a terminal diagnosis of cancer giving her only three weeks to live. This the judge said was testament to her determination and resilience.

Ms Seligman,who lives in Co Wexford had sued driver Krzysztok Kuiatkowski and car owner Marlena Jakubiec  both of Upper Dargle Road, Bray, Co Wicklow, as a result of the accident on the M50 motorway on December 12, 2014. The case was before the court for assessment of damages only.

Mr Justice Barr said the impact between the vehicles was quite severe and Ms Seligman's car was shunted into the car in front and it in turn was shunted in to the car in front of it.

As a result of the impact, Ms Seligman experienced pain and bruising to the left side of her chest and ribs and there was also bruising on her leg and thigh.

Over the following days she experienced more  severe pain and  and in 2015 her neck and back continued to be very painful.

The judge accepted Ms Seligman's evidence she remains significantly disabled in the ordinary aspects of her life and in particular her ability to drive long distances has been reduced. Her ability to ascend stairs has been also greatly compromised.

Ms Seligman, the court had heard, is an accomplished bridge player who had represented Ireland at senior level on 22 occasions in the past.

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