Man left with serious brain injuries after crash awarded €4.6m

A man who suffered serious brain injuries after the car in which he was a passenger skidded off a road and collided with a tree has secured a €4.6 million settlement of his High Court action.

The case was brought by Dane Craigie (32) over the accident which occurred on September 17th, 2008 at Bellinter, Navan, Co Meath, on a section of road where construction and excavation works were being carried out.

Mr Craigie, a former car salesman, suffered severe traumatic brain injuries from which he has never fully recovered.

Following the collision, he was rushed to hospital in Navan and later transferred to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin where several surgical procedures to relieve pressure on his brain were carried out. He spent a long time in intensive care and now lives in a nursing home where he requires ongoing care.

Duty of care

Mr Craigie, of Warrenstown, Drumree, Co Meath, sued several parties for alleged negligence, nuisance and breach of duty of care including Meath County Council and SIAC Cintra Ferrovial, trading as M3 Motorway Joint Venture, the company which had been carrying out the roadworks.

His claims against the company and council related to the alleged maintenance and upkeep of the section of road. He also sued the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI); Linda Farrell, of Kilcarn Court, Navan, who was driving the vehicle at the time of the accident; Kelly Mathews, of Ringlestown, Co Meath, the owner of the vehicle; and Ray Smyth, the owner of a garage at Bellinter where the vehicle was allegedly being kept for the purpose of repair and onward sale.

He claimed those parties were responsible for his injuries due to alleged negligence relating to how the car was driven, controlled, used, managed and maintained. All of the defendants denied the claims against them.

Seatbelt

As part of the defence, it was pleaded Mr Craigie contributed to his own misfortune and had exposed himself to risk and injury because, it was alleged, he had not been wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.

At the High Court on Thursday, Jonathan Kilfeather SC, for Mr Craigie, said the realistic full value of the case was in the region of €7 million.

Counsel said there were difficulties in proving liability in the case and, in those circumstances, his client was prepared to accept a settlement offer of two-thirds of the full value, which came to some €4.65 million.

The settlement was approved by Mr Justice Kevin Cross as a “good settlement” which he had “no hesitation in recommending”. The judge also praised Mr Craigie’s mother, who, he said, has provided her son with a great level of care since his accident.

© The Independent

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