By Ann O'Loughlin
A 71-year old Kerry man who suffered catastrophic injuries and is now quadriplegic after the car in which he was a passenger went out of control and hit a pole has settled his High Court action for €900,000.
Mr Tom Walsh was returning from buying chips in Abbeydorney when the accident happened not far from his home on November 13, 2017.
Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told that Mr Walsh will have to spend the rest of his life in hospital and has no hand or lower limb function.
Tom Walsh, Rae, Kilflynn, Co Kerry had, through his wife Sheila Walsh, sued the owner of the car Josephine Slattery, Clounametig, Abberdorney, Co Kerry and driver of the car Thomas Walsh, Cappa, Kilflynn, Co Kerry who was driving the car with the consent of Ms Slattery.
It was claimed the car was being allegedly driven too fast and there was an alleged failure to keep a any or any proper lookout. It was further claimed there was an alleged failure to stop , steer brake or otherwise control the car in such a fashion as to avoid leaving the carriageway and colliding with a pole.
The claims were denied and it was contended Mr Walsh had failed to wear a seatbelt and had allegedly failed to take any or any adequate care for his own safety and welfare.
Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told the settlement was on a 50/50 basis in relation to liability.
Mr Walsh’s counsel Denis McCullough SC told the court when the car hit the ESB pole the impact caused the pole to crack. He said the two men were travelling back to Killyfin from Abbeydorney where they had got chips when the accident occurred.
Counsel said Mr Walsh was found half in and half out of the car but the driver of the car who had a cut on his head had wandered about a kilometre away and asked a friend to pick him up.
The reality, Counsel said, was that Mr Walsh was probably not wearing a seatbelt.
Counsel said Mr Walsh who fractured his spine is now quadriplegic and is still very seriously ill and remains in hospital. He said Mr Walsh will be in hospital for the rest of his life and his family visit him every day.
Approving the settlement Mr Justice Kevin Cross said it was a good settlement as there were a lot of difficulties in the case. He wished the family all the best for the future.