Apprentice plumber awarded over €1m for car crash injuries
Man is likely to be ‘a shell of his former self’ for foreseeable future
Mr Justice Cross said: “I believe Mr O’ Riordan has been injured and damaged just as signficiantly as someone who has lost the use of all their limbs.”
An apprentice plumber whose nose split down the middle when the car in which he was a passenger was involved in a crash has been awarded over €1 million damages by the High Court.
As a result of psychiatric injuries, Freddie O’Riordan is likely for the foreseeable future to be “a shell of his former self”, said Mr Justice Kevin Cross.
Awarding a total of €1.14 million, the judge said he believed Mr Riordan had been injured “just as significantly as someone who lost the use of all their limbs.” The judge granted a stay in the event of an appeal on the basis that there is an immediate payout of €600,000 to Mr O’Riordan.
Mr O’Riordan (26) of Rush, Co Dublin, had sued Bernard Dempsey of St Catherine’s Grove, Rush, and Kevin Byrne of St Catherine’s Drive, Rush, Co Dublin, as a result of the injuries caused in a crash on Loughshinny Hill, North Co Dublin, on July 11th, 2007.
Mr O’Riordan was a back-seat passenger in a car driven by Mr Dempsey when the car was struck from behind by a car driven by Mr Byrne. Mr Justice Cross said the accident was frightening and significant and it resulted in the vehicle in which Mr O’Riordan was passenger being shunted forward and spinning and rolling over a few times.
Mr O’ Riordan’s head hit the back window and, even though he was wearing a seatbelt, he was was thrown forward with his nose striking the car with such force that the window’s steel frame was dented.
Mr O’ Riordan’s nose was split down the middle but the judge said it was very skilfully and expertly repaired by a plastic surgeon. Given the severity of the physical injury, Mr Justice Cross said the surgical recovery was remarkable.
The major injury sustained by Mr O’ Riordan, the judge said, was the psychological and psychiatric reaction after the crash and he is suffering from body dysmorphic disorder. He and also developed post traumatic stress disorder at one stage.
Mr Justice Cross accepted that from a very early stage Mr O’Riordan was entirely dissatisfied with his physical appearance and he went on to develop a serious and significant psychiatric problem which has persisted and is persisting.
Mr Justice Cross said the damage to Mr O’Riordan’s nose was extensive and he awarded a total of €100,000 for the nasal injury.
In relation to psychiatric injuries as a result of the crash, the judge said Mr O’Riordan is likely to be for the foreseeable future “a shell of his former self”.
“He is living a life of utmost misery and the fact that he has certain insight in to his disability has not alleviated his problem,” the judge said.
Assessing general damages to date under the psychiatric heading as €200,000 with a further €150,000 in to the future, Mr Justice Cross said: “I believe Mr O’ Riordan has been injured and damaged just as significantly as someone who has lost the use of all their limbs.”
The judge said he believed the total figure of €450,000 was fair and reasonable.
“I am of the view that Mr O’Riordan has been as catastrophically injured by this accident as someone who has lost the use of his limbs,” the judge said.
The final figure of €1.14 million also includes loss of earning into the future of €600,000 and medical and counselling expenses and items of special damage.
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