Cork man who suffered severe head injury after van driven by learner lost control awarded €10m

Cork man who suffered severe head injury after van driven by learner lost control awarded €10m
William White outside court. Pic: Collins

A young man who sustained a brain injury when the van he was in spun out of control as its learner driver who had been drinking took a bend has settled his High Court action for €10m.

William White who was sitting between the front seats and was not wearing a seat-belt was thrown out a window when the driver overcorrected on a bend and hit a ditch twice as they travelled home after a night out.

Mr White’s counsel Thomas Creed SC told the High Court Mr White and the driver of the van, James Lordan, had been drinking and playing pool for about three hours until 1.30am and then headed home in the van along with two others.

The small van, Counsel said, struck the ditch twice. The driver and two other passengers, he said, emerged unscathed but Mr White suffered a severe head injury.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told the settlement reflects that Mr White, who was not wearing a seat-belt was deemed 45% at fault and the driver was 55% to blame.

Mr White from Dunmanway, Co Cork was only 20 years of age when the accident occurred at Inchincurka, Dunmanway just a few days before Christmas 2013

In the High Court today Mr Justice Cross was told William cannot talk or walk, needs to use a wheelchair and requires 24-hour care.

William White of Derrinacahara, Dunmanway, Co.Cork, had through his mother Eleanor White sued the owner and driver of the van James Lordan (aged 24) of Droumdrastil, Dunmanway, Co Cork over the accident on December 21, 2013. It was claimed Lordan drove too fast and allegedly failed to have any adequate regard to physical features and conditions prevailing at the time and place of the collision.

Mr White was unconscious when admitted to hospital and a CT scan showed multiple haemhorrhagic brain contusions. He was in a coma for five weeks.

Cork man who suffered severe head injury after van driven by learner lost control awarded €10m

Four years ago James Lordan in Cork Circuit Criminal Court pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving causing serious harm to William White and to drink-driving on December 21,2013.

Judge Donagh McDonagh who said the crash had occurred due to a momentary lapse of concentration fined Lordan €3,500 and disqualified him from driving for four years and three months.

The judge said imprisoning the driver would achieve nothing by way of punishment or rehabilitation of a defendant, who was remorseful and also suffering the consequences of his actions.

At the time William’s father Michael told the Cork Circuit Criminal Court his son was in a coma for five weeks after the accident.

“He loved his girlfriend and his life and was very happy,” he said.

But now his and our lives have changed dramatically as he needs 24-hour-a-day care now and in to the future.

Mr Michael White told the High Court today his son is making progress and his family every six months see changes.

Approving the settlement Mr Justice Cross said William White was doing what young men frequently do and unfortunately he now has had to deal with profound circumstances.

He said the settlement is to help him throughout his life

He praised the White family for the care they have given William and offered them the congratulations of the court for what they have done. He wished William and his family well for the future.

More on this topic

Jury continues deliberations in Mitchelstown murder trialJury continues deliberations in Mitchelstown murder trial

Cork man serving life sentence appeals murder conviction Cork man serving life sentence appeals murder conviction

Plight facing brain damaged homeless man 'should not exist in a civilised state'  says judge Plight facing brain damaged homeless man 'should not exist in a civilised state' says judge

Five men appear before Special Criminal Court charged with conspiring to murder member of Hutch family Five men appear before Special Criminal Court charged with conspiring to murder member of Hutch family


More in this Section

Sentence upheld in garda corruption appealSentence upheld in garda corruption appeal

Dara Murphy entitled to over €500k after resignationDara Murphy entitled to over €500k after resignation

Facebook photos sees man lose court caseFacebook photos sees man lose court case

'Mass distrust': Cervical Check losing staff due to stress'Mass distrust': Cervical Check losing staff due to stress


Lifestyle

The Marquee in Cork dominated the gig news this week, with a string of announcements for what is expected to be the final year at the Monahan Road venue before the site is developedScene + Heard: The most played artist on Spotify and all the latest music news

Esther N McCarthy picks perfect paperweights, brilliant books and Christmas collectables this week.Brilliant books and Christmas collectables - here's our wish list

John Spillane tells Ellie O’Byrne how he’s hoping to fund his next album by taking the bardic route of writing unique compositions for people on whatever they’d like‘I’ll write you a song for €1,000' - John Spillane's unique way to fund new album

From starring in a Cork-set film, to securing a role in Ridley Scott’s major new HBO series, it has been quite a year for Niamh Algar, writes Esther McCarthyIreland’s next big thing: Niamh Algar on her incredible year

More From The Irish Examiner