A compensation claim for an injured child passenger has been resolved at Cork High Court with Mr Justice Kevin Cross´ approval of a €120,000 settlement.
In August 2007, six-year-old Luke O´Rourke was a passenger in his father´s car when it was involved in an accident with a 4×4. Luke sustained a fractured femur as a result of the accident and remained in hospital for two months. Luke´s father – Anthony O´Rourke from Lismore in County Waterford – sought legal advice and made a compensation claim for an injured child passenger on Luke´s behalf.
The driver of the 4×4 – Kevin Leahy from Sunday´s Well in County Cork – admitted causing the accident and liability for Luke´s injury. Leahy´s insurance company made an offer of settlement amounting to €120,000 – €80,000 for Luke´s pain and suffering and €40,000 in special damages – which Luke´s father accepted under advisement.
As the compensation claim for an injured child passenger had been made on behalf of a minor, the proposed settlement had to be approved by a judge to ensure it was in Luke´s best interests. Consequently the circumstances of the accident and the details of Luke injury were related to Mr Justice Kevin Cross at an approval hearing at Cork High Court.
At the hearing, Judge Cross heard that Luke (now fifteen years of age) had done well at school and has just finished his Junior Certificate. Judge Cross was also told that Luke is a rising star of hurling and has been picked to represent Waterford at underage level. Judge Cross commented that he had made a good recovery from a very nasty injury and he will likely be a danger to Cork in the future.
Approving the settlement of the compensation claim for an injured child passenger, the judge said sport was important as school to young people. He commented that the settlement of the claim was a good one in the circumstances, and ordered that the funds be lodged in an interest-bearing account administered by the Courts Service until Luke reaches the age of eighteen.