A €4.7m interim car crash injury compensation payout has been approved in a High Court action taken by a five-year old girl who suffered a serious brain injury when, as a baby, she was a involved in a road traffic collision.
When the head on car crash occurred Luna Vezignol McGuinness was just over three months old. She was on holidays with her parents in Lissycasey, Co Clare on February 27, 2016.
Luna’s counsel, Oonah McCrann SC, instructed by Ernest Cantillon, solicitor, said the compensation action was being taken as a result of the ‘tragic circumstances; of the accident. She informed the court that Luna’s father, who is originally from France a French national was driving the family car at this time of the crash. He was pulling out from a petrol station and suffered from “a momentary lapse of concentration”. Unfortunately he drove onto the road prior to the infant being fully strapped in and secured in the baby seat.
Luna sustained multiple skull fractures and she was rushed by helicopter to a hospital in Limerick and later moved to Dublin, where she underwent surgery. She was not sent home from hospital until the end of April 2016 and she then spent four months in the National Rehabilitation Hospital. Counsel said Luna is very much loved and brings joy to all her family.
It was alleged in the legal action that Luna’s father Mr Vezignol drove the hire car on the incorrect side of the carriageway and the collision took place an oncoming vehicle. It was also claimed there was an alleged failure to see to it that the intended path of travel was safe and free of vehicles and an alleged failure to keep any proper regard for other road users.
Liability was accepted in the legal action, which was before the court for assessment of damages only.
The Judge was informed that Luna suffers with a type of cerebral palsy and is a beautiful little girl. While her father remains in full-time employment, her mother devotes “every minute of every day” to her daughter’s care. Despite Luna’s uncle and mother both suffering injuries in the crash they had not brought compensation claims in relation to said injuries.
Luna was taking the legal action – through her mother Orla Vezignol McGuinness who has an address at Donadea, Co Kildare – against her own father Laurent Vezignol, and the owner of the car, Flynn Bros Rent a Car Ballygar, Athlone Road, Roscommon town.
Mr Justice Kevin Cross, in giving his approval for the interim compensation settlement, praised both parents for the care that they are providing for the their daughter. He said that Luna has progressed greatly due to this care and that the claim was necessary claim. Additionally he remarked that other significant claims by Luna’s mother and uncle had not been pursued.
The case to due for further consideration in five years when her future care needs will be assessed.