Saturday 25 November 2017

Woman hit by car wins €4m payout for brain damage

Tim Healy

A YOUNG woman left severely brain-damaged after being hit by a car is to receive a €4m lump sum in settlement of her High Court action.

Jennifer Courtney (24) had sued the driver over injuries she suffered after being struck while crossing a road in Coolock, Dublin, in 2007.

Her father, Hugh Courtney, told the court: "I'm just glad it's over".

He hoped the settlement would mean his daughter's journey "might get a bit easier" but added: "It's never going to be easy".

Two weeks ago, approval of the €4m settlement was deferred after a judge complained about delays in bringing in laws to provide for life-long payments for such cases.

On Friday, Ms Justice Mary Irvine said, in the absence of such laws, she would approve the €4m lump sum payment for Ms Courtney.

She said the failure, in "a civilised society", to ensure catastrophically injured children receive adequate payments for their life long care was "unconscionable".

It was all the more so, she said, in the context of the current Children's Referendum when one could see posters in Dublin city saying every child has a value. "That's all very well but what is actually being done about that on the ground?" she asked.

She had read medical papers about Ms Courtney's life expectancy and, while it was "really regrettable", the courts remain in a situation where they award lump sums on the basis of a "guess" as to how long a person would live.

She would much prefer a situation where payments could be made annually for the duration of Ms Courtney's life, she added.

Irish Independent

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