Friday 22 February 2019

Electric car 'shot across' car park and struck boy (5)

Sean's father, John Leahy
Sean's father, John Leahy

An electric-powered hybrid car, having been parked up by its driver, raced across a car park of its own accord, striking and injuring a five-year-old boy, a judge heard yesterday.

Barrister Fiona Crawford told Judge Terence O'Sullivan that Sean Leahy's mother, Jean Leahy, bravely attempted to pull her son and other children clear but the car had struck Sean, breaking his right leg.

Ms Crawford said in the Circuit Civil Court that the car had continued until it crashed into another parked vehicle on the opposite side of the car park attached to Arabian Nights Gym in Dublin 13.


Judge O'Sullivan heard that the driver of the car, Fiona Bonke, had just exited the vehicle through the passenger door when it shot across the car park of its own accord.

Ms Bonke had immediately rushed to help Sean and his mother.

Ms Crawford said that Sean, of St Sampson's Square, Balgriffin, Co Dublin, had been to the gym with his mother and sister on October 13, 2016, when they had been walking across the car park where the incident happened.

The boy was then taken to hospital where an X-ray confirmed he had suffered an un-displaced fracture.

Sean, who is now aged seven, had sued Ms Bonke through his father, John.

The judge said that, having read the medical reports associated with Sean's treatment and recovery, it was clear he had also suffered a significant post-traumatic stress disorder.


He said an Injuries Board assessment of €45,000 was not appropriate in the circumstances and he felt that proceedings on the boy's behalf should be taken in the unlimited jurisdiction of the High Court.

Ms Crawford said she had considered the assessment, even for the un-displaced fracture alone, to be very much on the low side and added that an opportunity would be given to Ms Bonke's insurance company to re-engage in the matter.

The judge awarded Sean's legal team its costs of the application yesterday.

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