Adeola Ozoruchi, 42, a care worker, native of Nigeria and naturalised Irish citizen since 2005, sued over the accident which happened on January 12, 2013, at Dromore West, Co Sligo, as she was driving from her then place of work, the Cheshire Home in Co Mayo, to her then home in Sligo.
Mr Justice Kevin Cross said the injuries were suffered after a motor vehicle owned by Kilcawley Building and Civil Engineering (Sligo) Ltd and Kilcawley Building and Civil Engineering Ltd, and driven by Martin Tuffy, overtook a vehicle driven by Michael Crean, Camphill, Culleens, Dromore West, and collided into Ms Ozoruchi’s car. She was trapped in her car and had to be cut out following the severe impact.
While there was an issue between the defendants due to allegations Mr Crean’s vehicle was towing a trailer which was not properly lit, the case, from the plaintiff’s point of view, was now one for assessment of damages only, he said.
She was treated in Sligo Hospital and later at Tallaght Hospital for injuries including fractures to her right hip and spine and lacerations to her liver. She underwent two operations, was on heavy pain medication, had a depressive reaction and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder which has improved, the judge said.
As a result of the accident, Ms Ozoruchi, a mother of two Irish citizen children and holder of a degree in Social Services, was unable to resume her work in the Cheshire Home as that involved heavy and strenuous physical labour of lifting elderly patients.
While she tried to resume that work in January 2014, she was unable to, he said.