Wednesday 15 August 2018

Woman who suffered 'catastrophic injuries' after she was struck by iron bars from a passing trailer settles High Court action

(stock photo)
(stock photo)

Tim Healy

A 59-year-old mother-of-three who suffered catastrophic injuries when she was struck by iron bars protruding from a passing trailer while out for a walk has settled her High Court action.

Frances O'Driscoll had been left with irreversible brain damage, the court heard.

Her counsel told Mr Justice Michael Hanna, at the opening of the case, that Mrs O’Driscoll was walking along the Causeway , Rosscarbery, west Cork  when metal bars on a passing trailer became loose and hit her on the legs knocking  her on her face to the ground.

Mrs O Driscoll (59) Burgatia, Rosscarbery, Co Cork sued Michael Herlihy,  Rosscarbery, Co Cork who was the driver of the jeep and trailer as well as Claramore Construction Ltd, Millstreet, Co Cork, Mr Herlihy's employers who owned the jeep and trailer.

She also sued the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI)as Mr Herlihy did not have a valid insurance policy at the time of the accident in 2016.

It was claimed there was a failure to secure the iron bars adequately or at all and the  bars were negligently, improperly and carelessly transported.

Liability was admitted in the case and it was before the court for assessment of damages only.

Last year a  jury at Cork Circuit Criminal Court found Mr Herlihy not guilty on the charge of dangerous driving causing serious bodily harm to Mrs O’Driscoll on April 16, 2016, arising out of the incident. He was found  guilty of failing to take adequate precaution to prevent a load from falling from a vehicle  and fined €500 for the load offence.

On the second day of the High Court action, following talks, Dr John O'Mahony SC, for Mrs O'Driscoll, told the judge the case had been settled.

Mrs O'Driscoll will also get the costs of the proceedings from the MIBI, he said.

Mr Justice Hanna congratulated the parties on reaching a settlement  and he wished Mrs O'Driscoll well.

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