Wednesday 13 December 2017

Woman struck by car after stepping off bus she took from school awarded €4m damages

Kirsty Scally, pictured leaving the Four Courts yesterday with her dad, James, after the High Court. Picture: Collins Courts
Kirsty Scally, pictured leaving the Four Courts yesterday with her dad, James, after the High Court. Picture: Collins Courts

A WOMAN has settled her High Court action for €4m over a serious brain injury she suffered when she was knocked down by a car after she got off a bus as a schoolgirl.

Kirsty Scally (21) was had just turned 13 when she suffered catastrophic injuries after she stepped off a Bus Eireann bus outside a school in Co Offaly.

Her counsel Eddie Walsh told the court the bus had gone past the bus stop and stopped near a bend on the road.

She exited the vehicle and "the inevitable happened" when a car came at speed around the bend, he said.

Ms Scally, Ballyheashill, Rhode, Co Offaly, through her mother, Angela Scally, sued Bus Eireann and the car driver Kenneth Dunne, St Patrick's Road, Edenderry, Co Offaly.

Bus Eireann was released from liability 2 years ago.

The accident happened outside Ballybrian National School, Rhode, on February 20, 2009.

Ms Justice Bronagh O'Hanlon was told it had been previously agreed the driver should be held 60 per cent liable in the case and contributory negligence on behalf of the schoolgirl was 40 per cent.

Counsel for Ms Scally said the settlement reflected this.

Ms Scally, it was claimed, went to the rear of the bus to cross the road with other children  but was struck by a car, thrown on to the bonnet and thrown some distance in to the air before coming to rest on the side of the road.

It was further claimed the car driver drove at a speed which was excessive given that the driver was very young and inexperienced.

It was also claimed he drove a car in which the forward vision was hindered and restricted by the post-manufacture application of a sun visor strip along the top portion of the front windscreen.

The court was told Ms Scally had to learn to walk again.  She managed, after making a physical recovery, to return to school and also studied a business and tourism course.

With the help of her parents, Angela and James, she has a good quality of life but never the one she should have had, her counsel said.

As a schoolgirl, she had ambitions to be a nurse and had done well at primary school.

Approving the settlement Ms Justice O'Hanlon said what happened was a great tragedy.

Online Editors

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