€7.5m Compensation Award After Brain Injury Suffered Before Birth

A boy who was inflicted with a brain injury just before has born when his mother was thrown from a car as she was on her way to have a final pregnancy scan has settled his High Court Baby Injury Compensation action for €7.5m.

After the accident, Cian Hammel had to be delivered by emergency Caesarean section in hospital. The High Court was told that in the accident his mother, aged 17 at the time, was thrown from the seven-seater vehicle in which she was a back-seat passenger. The driver of the car did not have motor insurance.  The accident occurred on February 3, 2009 near Manhanagh, Screen, Co Wexford. The boy now has difficulty walking and is unsteady on his feet and also has difficulties with language.

Taking the Baby Injury Compensation action through his grandmother Ann, Cian Hammel of Ford Court, Kilmuckridge, Co Wexford sued the driver of the car, Simon Jordan, of Monaseed, High Fort, Gorey, Co Wexford.

The Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI), which handles compensation claims for victims of uninsured driving, was also sued as a result of the accident.

The car which was driven by Mr Jordan allegedly went out of control and flipped causing Cian’s mother Roisin Hammel, who was in a rear seat, to be flung from the vehicle. Senior Counsel Rosario Boyle told the court that Roisin, who was studying for her Leaving Cert, had accepted a lift to attend her final scan.

Additionally, it was alleged that Mr Jordan had overtaken another vehicle when it was not safe to do so and that he was driving at an excessive speed given the weather conditions. These claims were denied.

Ms Boyle said Ms Hammel was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident. However, the MIBI later acknowledged that, had she been wearing a seat belt, the consequences for Cian would not have been better.

She said Ms Hammel’s waters broke and, due to this, she had to have an emergency caesarean section in hospital due to foetal distress. Ms Hammel, counsel said, was told to prepare for the worst and when Cian was delivered. He had to be resuscitated and there was multi-organ failure.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the baby injury compensation settlement and said he hoped it will provide for Cian’s needs for the future.