Friday, October 11, 2013

Article about a case in Ireland from the where an unborn baby was given an award for damages

Girl gets €18k for injuries as a baby

A BABY, who was injured in a car accident two days before she was born, has been awarded just under €18,000 in the Circuit Civil Court for personal injury damages.

Judge Matthew Deery heard that Aoife Sheehan, now aged 14, was still in the womb when the accident in which she was injured occurred in April 1999.
Barrister John Martin said Aoife's mother, Martina Sheehan, was pregnant and driving her car when another car crashed into her at Templeroan Road, Rathfarnham, Dublin.

He said the crash had induced an early onset of labour which had resulted in a pre-term birth leading to Aoife having immediately suffered respiratory distress syndrome.
Mr Martin told Judge Deery that within hours of birth the child had been admitted to intensive care in the Coombe Hospital.
By the evening of the birth, April 15, 1999, the severity of her respiratory distress had increased and mechanical ventilation had to be initiated.
Aoife, through her mother Martina, who lives at Scholarstown Road, Rathfarnham, had sued the owner of the other car involved in the crash, Elaine O'Connor of Orlagh Rise, Scholarstown Road.
Mr Martin said the defendants had proffered a settlement of €15,000 general damages together with €2,800 special damages and he was recommending approval of the offer by the court.
Judge Deery, approving the settlement, accepted there could be substantial difficulties with liability, given the medical evidence available to the child's legal team.

Despite the fact that this article took place in Ireland this shows how a Plaintiff can be compensated for injuries that may not be apparent to most people. Although in this case the unborn baby was actually awarded the damages, I can see how an argument can be made that the mother would be entitled to compensation for the complications of her pregnancy. This case is also a good illustration of the complexities that arise when dealing with children, babies, and pregnant women in personal injury cases. There are extra steps and procedures that must be followed in these cases. That is why it is important to hire a law firm with experience in such matters. Our law firm has handled several such cases.
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