€4m for Offaly schoolgirl knocked down after getting off bus

€4m for Offaly schoolgirl knocked down after getting off bus

A young woman who as a schoolgirl suffered a serious brain injury when she was knocked down on a road after she got off a bus has settled her High Court action for €4m.

Kirsty Scally was just just over 13 years old when she suffered catastrophic injuries when she was thrown on to the bonnet of a car and her head hit the windscreen after she got off a bus outside a school.

Senior Counsel Eddie Walsh told the court the bus had gone past the bus stop and stopped near a bend on the road.He said the girl got off the bus and "the inevitable happened" when a car came at speed around the bend. Kirsty he said suffered catastrophic injuries including a severe brain injury.

Ms Justice Bronagh O'Hanlon was told it had been previously agreed the defendants in the case, the driver and the driver's insurers should be held 60% liable in the case and contributory negligence on behalf of the girl was 40%.

Mr Walsh said the settlement reflected this.

Kirsty Scally (21), Ballyheashill, Rhode, Co Offaly had through her mother Angela Scally sued Bus Eireann and the car driver Kenneth Dunne, St Patrick's Road, Edenderry, Co Offaly as a result of the accident outside Ballybrian National School, Rhode, Co Offaly on February 20, 2009.

During the proceedings Bus Eireann was released from the case and the defence of the claim was taken over by the driver's insurance company.

Kirsty it was claimed went to the rear of the bus to cross the road with other children but was struck by a car, thrown on to the bonnet and was thrown some distance in to the air before coming to rest on the side of the road.

It was further claimed the car driver drove at a speed which was excessive given that the driver was very young and inexperenced and that he drove a car in which the forward vision was hindered and restricted by the post manufacture application of a sun visor strip along the top portion of the front windscreen.

Mr Walsh told the judge Kirsty had to learn to walk again and managed after making a physical recovery to return to school and also studied a business and tourism course. With the help of her parents, Angela and James he said Kirsty has a good quality of life. but never the one she should have had. He said as a schoolgirl Kirsty had ambitions to be a nurse and had done well at primary school.

Approving the settlement Ms Justice O'Hanlon said what happened was a great tragedy.

"The sympathy of the court is truly with you," she told the young woman and her parents.

Ms Justice O'Hanlon also commened Angela and James Scally for their cae of their daughter and she said the settlement was a sensible proposal.


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