Thursday, 1 March, 2012
A man has been awarded in excess of £4 million compensation following suffer brain damage in a car crash.
In delivering the ruling Mr Justice John Quirke claimed, in the High Court, that he not happy with the system of compensation settlements when making the awardto Caroline Bogue of Belturbet, County Cavan, following a settlement between the claimant and the joint defendants – Ciaran Bogue, her cousin, and the Motor Insurance Board of Ireland (MIBI).
Justice Quirke made the comments following the case of Caroline, who suffered severe brain damage in the car crash when an uninsured vehicle, driven by the defendant’s brother, crashed against a tree just outside of Belturbet in May 2003. Caroline, who was wearing a seat belt at the time of the collision, then aged 17 was admitted to Cavan Hospital where a CT scan of her brain showed she had suffered major haemorrhaging.
Caroline, who is now 24 years of age, needs assistance for everyday living and feeding herself due to the consequences of her accident. She also experiences difficulty sleeping, has poor short-term memory and difficulty with her speech. She will need permanent care throughout the rest of her life, and Mr Justice John Quirke is concerned that the settlement is insufficient for her lifetime and that she will eventually become reliant on the State.
As it was claimed by the defence that Caroline was aware that the car in which she was travelling was uninsured, Mr Justice John Quirke accepted that there was a risk that the claimant might be awarded less if the case went to a full hearing, and was guided by Caroline’s counsel. However, he commented that he was unhappy that he had to give approval to “a settlement so utterly speculative and imprecise from Caroline’s point of view”. A new system, which should be introduced in about 18 months time, will provide for continual payments over theduration of the victim’s life.
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