Updated: 05/11/16 : 07:56:45
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Sligo crash woman awarded over €500k

A woman who suffered severe injuries in a road crash in Co Sligo has been awarded some €518,000 damages by the High Court.

Adeola Ozoruchi (42), a care worker sued over the crash which happened on January 12th, 2013 at Dromore West, Co Sligo, as she was driving from her then place of work, the Cheshire Home in Co Mayo, to her then home in Sligo.

The Irish Times reported that Mr Justice Kevin Cross said the injuries were suffered after a motor vehicle owned by Kilcawley Building and Civil Engineering (Sligo) Ltd and Kilcawley Building and Civil Engineering Ltd, and driven by Martin Tuffy, overtook a vehicle driven by Michael Crean, Camphill, Culleens, Dromore West, and collided into Ms Ozoruchi’s car.

She was trapped in her car and had to be cut out following the severe impact.

While there was an issue between the defendants due to allegations Mr Crean’s vehicle was towing a trailer which was not properly lit; the case, from the plaintiff’s point of view, was now one for assessment of damages only, he said.

Fractures

Ms Ozoruchi - a native of Nigeria and naturalised Irish citizen since 2005 - was treated in Sligo Hospital and later at Tallaght Hospital for injuries including fractures to her right hip and spine and lacerations to her liver.

She underwent two operations, was on heavy pain medication, had a depressive reaction and suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which has improved, the judge said.

As a result of the crash, Ms Ozoruchi, a mother of two children and holder of a degree in Social Services, was unable to resume her work in the Cheshire Home as that involved heavy and strenuous physical labour lifting elderly patients.

While she tried to resume that work in January 2014, she was unable to, he said.

She is now living in Manchester as a result of following her then husband to the UK in August 2014 because he was unable to find work here.

She works part-time as a home care worker there which involves no heavy lifting.

She and her husband separated in January 2015.

Truthful

The judge said he found her a truthful witness and hard-worker who had not exaggerated her injuries but rather made light of them in some respects.

There was no doubt she suffered a severe injury and the case involved a “significant cocktail” of injuries including psychiatric injuries and severe scarring to her abdomen and thigh.

She still has constant pain in her right hip, a metal plate in her hip socket and her scars are permanent.

An actuary recommended she would be entitled to home help into the future but Ms Ozoruchi said she did not need that and would continue to rely on her family, which reduced her claim by €100,000, he said.

He awarded total damages of €518,786, including €275,000 for loss of earnings to date and into the future.