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Injured pianist gets €20k

A KEEN pianist and theology student who injured her neck when a car park barrier fell on her head has been awarded €20,000 damages.

Bridget Leopold (55) of Cherrywood Grove, Clondalkin, Dublin, told Judge Jacqueline Linnane at the Circuit Civil Court that she still suffered pain in her shoulders and neck almost seven years after the accident.

Barrister Sasha Gayer told the court Ms Leopold had been shopping in Blackrock village in August 2003 and had left her car in the Superquinn car park. As she walked under the open barrier it had descended on her without warning.

Ms Leopold had gone to a friend's house and from there to St Vincent's Hospital where she had been treated for concussion and soft tissue injury to her neck and shoulders.

"I still suffer pain in my neck and shoulders and between painkillers and anti-inflammatory tablets I take 120 pills a month.

Previously I could have played my piano for hours, but not any longer," she said.

Since the accident she had received at least six painkilling injections and had spent €2,750 on physiotherapy and a further €2,000 at a centre for healing and relaxation sessions.

Ms Leopold said she had injured her back in an accident in 1989 when she had been out of work for 18 months. Since then she had been unable to do heavy housework.