The Dutch Embassy, rather than plead diplomatic immunity on behalf of one of its official drivers involved in a road accident in Dublin, has settled €60,000 claims on behalf of two cousins injured in the collision.
Barrister Conor Kearney told Judge John O’Connor in the Circuit Civil Court today that The Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands had initially entered full defences in both cases involving minors, but had agreed negotiated settlements in each.
Mr Kearney, who appeared with Ailbhe Hanmore of Ko’d Lyons Solicitors, said one of the injured, Vera Lorena Valesco, (18) had achieved her majority and had accepted an undisclosed offer in her €60,000 damages claim against the embassy.
Her cousin, Nicole Orap, who was still a minor and sued through her mother Lorna Orap, had been made a settlement offer of €8,000 which Judge O’Connor said he felt was a little light. Mr Kearney later told the judge the embassy had agreed to a payment of €10,000 which the court approved.
Bolth claimants had addresses at Kilmainham Orchard, Turvey Avenue, Dublin, and posed with their mothers for photographs as they left the Four Courts.
Mr Kerney told the court both girls had been knocked down by an official car driven by an employee of the embassy as they crossed Northumberland Road, Ballsbridge. They had crossed between stationary cars in blocked traffic lanes and had been struck by the embassy car which had been using the bus lane. The driver would not have had much time to see them before the collision, in August 2017.
Mr Kearney said there had been some evidence of speed based on where the girls had ended up on the road and that there had been some suggestion the driver should not have been in the bus lane.
Counsel said that following the accident both Vera and Nicole had made good recoveries. He said Nicole had suffered a 1cm laceration to her forehead after the impact but she had not lost consciousness.
Judge O’Connor heard that when Nicole had visited a doctor on September 25, 2017, she had pain in her back and neck but had made a full recovery in a number of weeks. She had had been left with a small “not overly disfiguring” scar on her forehead from the laceration she had suffered.
Mr Kearney said Ms Valesco had accepted a settlement offer and her case could be struck out. As a result he did not go into details of her injuries.