Longford driver awarded €750k for crash

A man who suffered a brain injury after he crashed his car in to the back of a council truck on the side of a road has settled his High Court action for €750,000.

Francis Smith, aged 25, of Bracklin Grove, Edgeworthstown, Co Longford, had through his mother Martina Dempsey, sued Longford County Council as a result of the crash on January 27, 2009 at Cartronegagh, Edgeworthstown, Co Longford.

It was claimed there was an alleged failure to give any, or any adequate, warning to include traffic lights, advance road traffic warning signs or bollards to indicate that work was under way on the roadway.

It was further claimed that a stationary lorry was allegedly permitted to project extensively onto the carriageway sufficiently to be a danger to other road users including Mr Smith. It was further claimed there was an alleged failure to ensure a necessary flagman was in place on the southbound approach for the purpose of warning oncoming traffic including Mr Smith.

Longford County Council denied the claims and contended there was contributory negligence on Mr Smith’s behalf and that he was allegedly driving too fast into the bend in the road.

Diarmuid P O’Donovan told the court as Mr Smith went around the bend in the road, he had to take evasive action as another car was coming and he collided with the back of the council truck.

Counsel said Mr Smith suffered a brain injury and has cognitive and physical difficulties.

He said before this he had a good job in a factory. The two passengers in Mr Smith’s car were not injured.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Cross noted it represented 25% of the full value of the case. He wished Mr Smith well and said it was a good settlement.


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