A mother-of-five who self-medicated on heroin as a painkiller became addicted to the drug and had to undergo rehab treatment for nearly a year before beating the habit, a judge was told.
Judge Gerard Griffin, in assessing personal injury damages for Megan Creighton (33), who was injured in a traffic accident, said her heroin addiction could not be laid at the door of the defendant.
"Clearly it was not medically advised and there cannot be any damages allowed in that regard," Judge Griffin said.
Ms Creighton, of Pinewood Green Lawn, Balbriggan, told Dublin Circuit Civil Court she had been devastated as a result of the neck and back injuries she suffered in a crash with a 40-tonne truck at Malahide Roundabout, Swords, in December 2016.
She sued Roskell Transport Ltd, of Newcastle, Co Dublin, for damages of up to €60,000 for personal injuries.
Ms Creighton told barrister Philip Fennell, for the defendant, that gel and anti-inflammatory medication prescribed by her doctor had not been helping.
"I had got morphine-based tablets from a friend and later started using heroin," she said.
Ms Creighton said that from the opiates she obtained from a friend she had progressed to heroin and became addicted to the drug and had to go "into treatment" for 11 months.
She told the court she suffered pain to her neck and back as a result of the accident and at times was unable to lift her children.
Her one-year-old had been in the back of her car, which had been dragged on to the roundabout after the truck had run an amber light.
She remembered screaming and beeping her horn and alleged that a company representative had accepted liability at the scene. Afterwards, they would not answer her calls.
Truck driver Jacej Gorchel said he had a green light and in his rear mirror had seen Ms Creighton's car drive towards him. He denied his lorry had dragged the car.
Judge Griffin said the court had no doubt the trailer of the truck was in Ms Creighton's lane, and he found the transport company 100pc liable.
From medical reports, he believed she had suffered minor injuries to her neck and shoulder and had back difficulties, and awarded her €8,000 damages with district court costs.