Posted: October 12th, 2013
A young girl from Rathfarnham in Dublin is to receive €17,800 in compensation after a settlement of her car accident prenatal injury claim was approved in court.
Aoife Sheehan (now 14 years of age) was delivered prematurely at the Coombe Hospital in Dublin on 15th April 1999; two days after her mother – Martina – had been involved in a car accident which allegedly caused her to go into early onset labour at thirty-six weeks.
Unable to breathe independently, Aoife was admitted to the neo-natal intensive care unit of the Coombe Hospital where her breathing had to be supported by medication and a ventilator. Aoife was diagnosed with respiratory distress syndrome and remained in intensive care critically ill for three weeks.
Through her mother, Aoife made a car accident prenatal injury claim for compensation against the driver of the vehicle with which her mother had the accident – Elaine O’Connor also from Rathfarnham – but insurers for the defendant denied their client´s liability, stating that there was no medical evidence to prove the connection between the accident and Aoife´s premature birth.
The insurance company also claimed that any injuries that Aoife had been sustained before she was born and she was not eligible to be awarded compensation. However, the solicitors from whom Martina had sought legal advice pursued the car accident prenatal injury claim and, and after a period of negotiation, acquired a settlement that would see Aoife receive €17,800 compensation.
After hearing the details of the case, Judge Matthew Deery at the Circuit Civil Court approved the settlement – saying that Aoife´s solicitors had done a good job in securing a settlement, as proving liability in the case had it gone to court would have been difficult.