Bentley -v- Nolan, [2018] IEHC 735 (2018)

Docket Number:2017 No. 10021 P
Party Name:Bentley, Nolan

THE HIGH COURT[2017 No. 10021 P.]



LIAM NOLANDEFENDANTJUDGMENT of Mr. Justice Barr delivered on the 19th day of December, 2018

  1. This action arises out of an RTA on Drumcondra Road, Dublin on 2nd June, 2016. The plaintiff was stationary in a line of traffic, when she was rear-ended by the defendant’s vehicle. She was wearing a seatbelt. As a result of the impact to the rear of her vehicle, her car was pushed into the car in front. Liability is not in issue in these proceedings.

  2. The plaintiff is a divorced lady with two teenage children. She is 50 years of age, having been born on 9th April, 1968. She works as a manager/secretary in the family motor business.

  3. The main aspect of the plaintiff’s injuries, concerns scarring to her face. This was caused due to the fact that she was wearing sunglasses on the top of her head at the time of the accident. As a result of the impact, the airbag on her vehicle deployed and her glasses fell onto her face. As a result of the deployment of the airbag, the sunglasses shattered, causing the plaintiff to suffer extensive lacerations to her face, particularly to her left cheek, where there were three lacerations, together with a laceration just above the left side of her lip. The plaintiff also suffered soft tissue injuries to her neck and lower back. There was extensive bruising to the left side of her body and to her left arm. In the weeks after the accident, the plaintiff also developed pneumonia, hearing difficulties and certain psychiatric sequelae.

  4. The medical evidence in this case has been agreed. To that end, the court has had the benefit of reading eight medical reports furnished by various doctors on behalf of the plaintiff.

  5. At the scene of the accident, the plaintiff was aware of a large amount of blood flowing from her face onto her shirt. She was extremely shocked and upset by this. She remembers a smell of burning in the car. She wanted to get out of the car, however, three men who came to her assistance, told her to stay where she was. However, they told her not to look in the mirror. After a short period of time, an ambulance arrived and she was removed to the Mater Hospital, where she came under the care of Dr. Sinead McArdle, Consultant in Emergency Medicine.

  6. Two of the lacerations to the plaintiff’s face required suturing. Four sutures were inserted into the larger linear laceration on her left cheek. Two sutures were inserted into the laceration above her lip. The plaintiff was discharged from the hospital later that day. She was driven home by her sister and brother in law. She returned to hospital on 8th June, 2016, when her sutures were removed. On that occasion, the plaintiff complained of severe pain in her chest. X-rays revealed that she had developed pneumonia. The plaintiff was commenced on oral antibiotics for this. A repeat x-ray taken on 11th July, 2016, showed complete resolution of the infection. Dr. McArdle was satisfied that the extensive soft tissue injuries to her left arm, left breast and anterior chest and upper abdomen, which had been sustained in the accident, likely contributed to the plaintiff developing pneumonia...

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