Thursday 23 November 2017

Woman (42) who was trapped in vehicle following road accident awarded €518k in damages

(stock photo)
(stock photo)

Tim Healy

A woman who suffered severe injuries in a road accident has been awarded some €518,000 damages by the High Court.

Adeola Ozoruchi (42), a care worker, native of Nigeria and naturalised Irish citizen since 2005,  sued over the accident which happened on January 12, 2013 at Dromore West, Co Sligo, as she was driving from her then place of work, the Cheshire Home in Co Mayo, to her then home in Sligo.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross said the injuries were suffered after a motor vehicle owned by Kilcawley Building and Civil Engineering (Sligo) Ltd and Kilcawley Building and Civil Engineering Ltd, and driven by Martin Tuffy, overtook a vehicle driven by Michael Crean, Camphill, Culleens, Dromore West, and collided into Ms Ozoruchi's car.

She was trapped in her car and had to be cut out following the severe impact. 

While there was an issue between the defendants due to allegations Mr Crean's vehicle was towing a trailer which was not properly lit, the case, from Ms Ozoruchi's point of view, was now one for assesssment of damages only, he said.

Ms Ozoruchi, a mother of two, was treated in Sligo Hospital and later at Tallaght Hospital for injuries including fractures to her right hip and spine and lacerations to her liver.

She underwent two operations, was on heavy pain medication, dad a depressive reaction and suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which has improved, the judge said.

As a result of the accident, she was unable to resume her work in the Cheshire Home as that involved heavy and strenuous physical labour of lifting elderly patients. While she tried to resume that work in January 2014, she was unable to, he said

She is now living in Manchester as a result of following her then husband to the UK in August 2014 because he was unable to find work here.

She works part-time as a home care worker there which involves no heavy lifting.

The judge found her a truthful witness and hard worker who had not exaggerated her injuries but rather made light of them in some respects.

There was no doubt she suffered a severe injury and the case involved a "significant cocktail" of injuries including psychiatric injuries and severe scarring to her abdomen and thigh. She still has constant pain in her right hip, a metal plate in her hip socket and her scars are permanent.

He awarded total damages of €518,786, including €275,000 for loss of earnings to date and into the future.

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