Doctor's 'utterly dishonest' account blamed injured girl for car accident, court told

The court heard that the doctor admits reckless driving, going through a red light, driving at speed and driving in a bus lane.
Doctor's 'utterly dishonest' account blamed injured girl for car accident, court told

(Left to right) Ashleigh Carroll with her mother Louise Carroll leaving the Dublin High Court this afternoon. Ashleigh suffered brain damage after she was hit by a car as she walked to get the bus to school five years ago. Photo: Collins Courts

A doctor who at speed drove her car through a red light knocking down and catastrophically injuring a schoolgirl blamed the teenager for the accident, the High Court has heard.

Scurrilous allegations were made and an “utterly dishonest” account was given by the doctor driver of the car after the accident, meaning the 14-year old was for four years blamed for it, Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds was told.

As a result, Ashleigh Carroll who has been left brain-damaged and who has sued the doctor, Shereen El Mashad, in the High Court has also asked the court to award aggravated damages in the case.

Ashleigh’s counsel Richard Kean SC, instructed by Keira O’Reilly of Keans Solicitors, told the court it has to mark it’s revulsion at the behaviour. Counsel said the doctor, Shereen El Mashad, worked at Beaumont Hospital at the time and was on her way there when the accident happened on the morning of October 20, 2016.

He said the doctor was not in court and had gone back to her native Egypt. The doctor’s account, he said, of the accident in Coolock, Dublin, was “utterly dishonest“ and if this defence had prevailed Ashleigh would not get compensation for her horrific injuries.

Mr Kean said an Irish arrest warrant exists for the doctor in relation to the accident.

The doctor's insurers Axa Insurance, Counsel said, had waited for four years to admit liability “when they knew their client was on the run”. Ashleigh Carroll now aged 19 years from Glasnevin, Dublin, has through her mother Louise Carroll sued the driver of the car Shereen El Mashad.

It is claimed that Ashleigh was lawfully traversing a public footpath near Oscar Traynor Road, Coolock, and was in the process of crossing a roadway when a vehicle driven by the doctor, and in particular the wing mirror, was caused to collide with the teenager causing her to spin, fall to the ground and hit her head.

Liability, Mr Kean said, was admitted in November last year and the doctor admits reckless driving, going through a red light, driving at speed and driving in a bus lane.

At the opening of the case, Mr Kean said Ashleigh at the time of the accident was thriving at school and was academically inclined and hoping to study forensic anthropology in Harvard along with medicine. He said she was in second year at secondary school and was also studying Japanese.

Mr Kean, referring to the defence filed by the doctor in the case, said it claimed Ashleigh ran across the road colliding with her car when Counsel said the schoolgirl was walking.

The doctor has also claimed Ashleigh had allegedly created a public nuisance and hazard by her actions and the manner in which she attempted to cross the road and she had allegedly run in to the side of the doctor’s car.

Counsel said, in a statement to gardaí the doctor said she was 100% sure she went through when the lights were amber and she felt something hit her car. The case before Ms Justice Reynolds continues on Friday.

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