Boy has case settled for €5m after road incident

Ryan, 5, was on holiday when he was hit by car’s wing mirror

A boy who celebrated his 13th birthday yesterday had a settlement approved for €5m in the High Court for a severe, traumatic brain injury suffered in a road incident in Cork eight years ago.

As a child, Ryan Bastin had been on summer holidays with his family at his grandparents’ home near Mitchelstown.

He had ran out on to a road and was struck by the wing mirror of a car.

He had intended to follow his father, brother, and sister who were looking at cows in a field.

The mirror on the driver’s side of a car, travelling within the speed limit, struck the little boy on the head, fracturing his skull.

John O’Mahony, for the boy, told the court the then five-year-old suffered an extremely serious injury when he was struck by the car mirror.

Mr O’Mahony said the reality was the driver, who was travelling in a direction out of Mitchelstown, had 1.75 seconds to react.

The driver, counsel told the court, said she heard a thud and did not see the boy at all.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told that Ryan, who turned 13 yesterday, has been left intellectually impaired as a result of the incident.

Ryan, who lives in Brussels, had, through his father Christian Bastin, sued the driver of the car, Hannah Murray, Lisfuncheon, Ballyporeen, Co Tipperary, as a result of the incident on August 13, 2008, outside his grandparents’ home in Mitchelstown.

It was claimed there was an alleged failure by the driver to keep any proper lookout and to see the boy as he crossed the road.

The claims were denied.

The boy, immediately after the incident, stood up and started to cry and he vomited.

During his transfer to Cork University Hospital, he lost consciousness.

Ryan suffered an extensive skull fracture, spent a prolonged period in intensive care, and also had to have a number of operations.

After his return to Brussels, he underwent treatment at a rehabilitation hospital.

Mr O’Mahony told the court Ryan was on summer holiday with his family at the home of his grandparents, Joe and Angela Mullins, at Kildrum, Mitchelstown.

Ryan’s father went with an older brother and younger sister to look at cattle grazing in a field.

Ryan stayed at home but then decided to follow.

Mr O’Mahony said his side would have contended the driver should have seen the others at the other side of the road as they stood at at a gate looking at cows in a field and this should have alerted her.

A little swerve, counsel said, would have avoided the boy.

Ryan’s mother, Sinead Mullins, said her son now has difficulties with language and needs a lot of assistance, but he is an active boy who loves horse riding.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Cross said he determined the case as 60% liability against the driver.

The judge wished the boy and his family all the best and wished the boy luck with the horse riding.


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