Man Compensated for Brain Injuries after Lorry Collision

A six-figure settlement of compensation has been awarded to a young man who sustained severe brain injuries after a car crash.

The accident occurred on the 27th January 2009 when Francis Smith, aged eighteen from Edgeworthstown in Co. Longford, crashed into a stationary lorry. However, he collided with the lorry as he was attempting to avoid a head-on crash with another vehicle. The lorry had stopped close to where roadworks were being undertaken by the council.

As a result of the accident, Francis sustained dramatic brain injuries. He still suffers from both physical and cognitive difficulties, and has not been able to return to his job in a local factory. As it was determined that Francis was unfit to represent himself in legal proceedings, his mother made a claim for car injury compensation against the Longford County Council on her son’s behalf.

In the claim, it was alleged that by failing to adequately warn drivers of the roadworks, the County Council had been negligent. Francis’ mother alleged that there were no signs or other such indicators to show that the roadworks were being undertaken. Additionally, she claimed that the way the lorry was parked meant it projected onto the road, proving a hazard for motorists.

The county council argued that Francis had been negligent as he was driving too quickly, and as such had caused his own injury. However, once negotiations began between the party, the council agreed to pay a €750,000 compensation settlement to Francis for his brain injuries.

The settlement then proceeded to the High Court for approval by Mr Justice Kevin Cross – a necessary procedure, as the claim had been made on the behalf of someone unable to represent themselves in court.

After hearing the circumstances of the accident, Judge Cross approved the settlement, dismissing any allegations of contributory negligence. As he closed the hearing, he wished Francis well for the future.

Family Compensated for Emotional Trauma in Shop

Two children have received settlements of compensation for the emotional trauma they sustained when caught up in a mock armed robbery in a Dublin shop.

The incident occurred in March 2013 when Casie and Abbie Kennedy – aged eight and eleven respectively – were shopping at the Dundrum Shopping Centre with their mother, Claudia. As the family were trying clothes on in the changing room of H&M, they heard a man shouting aggressively and swearing at staff. He was ordering the shop assistants to hand over any cash in the tills and then to get on the ground. However, it later transpired that this was just a training exercise.

The young family were trapped in the shop’s change rooms, completely unaware that no-one was in any real danger. Claudia kept her daughters in the booth until the shouting had stopped, at which point she went to investigate what happened. Her daughters remained, terrified, in the changing area.

When Claudia asked the shop assistants what had happened, the manager explained the situation to her. Claudia was furious that no-one had cared to check that every area of the shop was empty of customers before the training exercise was undertaken.

Yet when Claudia telephoned the H&M head office to complain, she was offered nothing but a €30 and a curt apology. Claudia then decided to make a claim for emotional trauma compensation on her daughters’ behalf. In the claim, made against H&M Hennes&Mauritz (Ireland)Ltd, it was alleged that both of her young daughters were afraid for their lives whilst trapped in the changing rooms.

The retail giant went on to offer the girls compensation settlements for their trauma – €8,000 for Casie and €10,000 for Abbie. The case then proceeded to the Circuit Civil Court, where Judge Rory MacCabe approved the settlements.