€35,000 for baby after traumatic car crash

An eight-week-old baby who was deprived of the company of his mother for some weeks after a car accident has been awarded €35,000 for psychological injuries.

The Circuit Civil Court in Killarney heard that the child was not physically injured, but that “the mother-son bond” was left fragile.

Killarney Courthouse

Baby Euan McSweeney of Hollybrook, Rathcoole, Schull, Co Cork, was shocked and became very quiet after the collision on the N22 on April 8, 2017.

The West Cork family were on their way to visit Kennedy’s Pet Farm when the collision with another vehicle occurred.

Through his mother Alana McSweeney, Euan sued the driver of the other car, Ben O’Sullivan, of Limewoods Kilgarvan, Co Kerry, for psychological injuries.

Both of his parents were injured and Ms McSweeney’s sister moved in to look after the house and baby for two weeks. His mother suffered broken ribs and pneumonia and was unable to lift him. Ms McSweeney, a solicitor, is now back in work. Her husband, a mechanic has also returned to work.

Katie O’Connell, for the McSweeneys, described how the McSweeneys’ car had been written off. Baby Euan had been facing the rear window. He suffered the trauma of the glass coming down on him.

Three ambulances and two fire engines arrived and “the noise of the fire brigade alone” would have been traumatic for him, said Ms O’Connell.

Euan is now 22 months old and doing well, the court heard.

Judge James O’Donohoe awarded €35,000 for the traumatic accident for the baby and an additional €2,000 to cover the cost of between 10 and 20 parent-infant psychotherapy sessions, going forward.

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