Posted: November 28th, 2015
A teenager, who made a claim for compensation against her own mother, has received a seven-figure compensation settlement.
When Beth Cullen, then aged just six years old, was travelling with her mother on the 26th November 2005, she sustained severe injuries in a car crash on the infamous “Nine Bends” stretch of the N11, near Ballinameesda. As a result, Beth became blind in one eye, deaf in one year and completely lost her sense of smell.
William Cullen, Beth’s father, made a claim for compensation on his daughter’s behalf against Caroline Barrett, Beth’s mother. Ms Barrett had been driving the vehicle when it crashed, and is held responsible for the events.
In their claim for compensation, Mr Cullen claimed that Ms Barrett did not adequately handle the car prior to the accident, and as a result, she did not have enough regard for the safety of her young daughter.
Ms Barrett’s insurance company conceded liability for the accident, and the parties negotiated a €1.3 million settlement of compensation for Beth. However, as Beth was a minor and as such the claim had to be made on her behalf, the settlement had to be approved by a judge before it could be awarded.
The case then proceeded to the High Court in Dublin, where it was overseen by Mr Justice Kevin Cross. The judge was told of the circumstances of the accident, and how they had impacted Beth’s day-to-day life. The judge was also informed that Beth was doing well at school, despite her difficulties, and Judge Cross proceeded to approve the settlement, wishing the teenager well for her future.