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Woman sues partner's parents after losing eye

A WOMAN has sued her partner's parents over an accident on their family farm in which she lost an eye.

Elaine Newman (27) was struck in the face by pieces of glass when a pane in a door shattered, the High Court heard.

Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O'Neill was told that if liability was proven, it was agreed damages of €200,000 would be paid to Ms Newman, formerly with an address at Mullingar, Co Westmeath, but now living with Emmett Cogan in Australia.

Ms Newman brought the action against Marie and Patrick Cogan over the accident on their farm at Delganstown, Delvin, Co Westmeath. The court heard Emmett Cogan, who was on crutches at the time, had provided a statement in which he said, as he came into the farmhouse behind Ms Newman, he tripped and fell in the porch and his left hand collided with a glass panel in the back door and broke it.

His parents denied any liability. Without prejudice to their denials, they also pleaded the injuries arose from negligence and breach of duty of Emmett and further pleaded contributory negligence on the part of Ms Newman.

A engineer's report provided for Ms Newman's side concluded the glazed door was typical of its type and age. It said there was no obligation on householders to retrofit safety glazing in such doors and there were many unusual features in the description of the accident.

The case concluded yesterday and judgment was reserved.

Ms Newman told her counsel Edward Walsh she was visiting Emmett at his parents' farm on June 22, 2007.

She went through the porch, followed by Emmett, to the rear door, which had two large panes of glass, opened that door and was moving to shut it.

All she remembered was the glass broke and she was hit in the face, she said.

The court heard Ms Newman was taken to Mullingar hospital from where she was immediately transferred to the Eye & Ear Hospital in Dublin. She later underwent surgery but was told her eye could not be saved.

Her self-esteem had been badly affected, she changed her hairstyle to cover the affected eye and worried something would happen to her other eye.

Irish Independent