€54,000 road traffic accident compensation has been awarded to a girl who was born prematurely. by emergency caesarean section, just one day after a car driven by her pregnant mother was involved in an accident.
On April 24, 2014. Abigail Mielec’s mother was involved in an accident with a tractor when she was driving. She was 31 weeks pregnant at the time that the accident occurred on the road from Carrick-on-Suir to Rathgormack, Co Tipperary.
Following delivery, Abigail spent the first 36 days of her life in hospital and Justice Kevin Cross told the court that the injuries were moderate but not insignificant. He added that it was not the start that Abigail should have had.
The road traffic crash happened when the tractor was driving onto the road from a field and it collided with the car coming along the adjacent road. It was alleged there was a failure to use the help of others to warn oncoming traffic that a slow-moving vehicle was about to emerge from a field onto the road. Additionally there was an alleged failure to give any or any adequate and proper warning of the presence of the tractor or its intentions.
In the incident Abigail’s mother had hit her belly of the steering wheel. She was taken to Clonmel Hospital where she was kept overnight and, on April 25, Abigail was delivered by emergency caesarean and was nine weeks early. After delivery, Abigail experienced some respiratory difficulties and was moved to Cork University Hospital, where she remained in intensive care. Subsequent to this she, the infant, experienced a gastrointestinal problem was diagnosed and remained in the Cork hospital until she was 32 days old. She was finally discharged home on June 1, 2014 where there were recorded incidents of her suffering intermittent severe abdominal pain.
The owner of the tractor involved in the accident – Pat Murphy, Ballyquinn, Carrickbeg, Carrick on Suir, Co Waterford – and the driver – Patrick O’Brien, Bishopstown, Mothel, Co Waterford – were sued by Abigail, of Fiddown, Co Kilkenny, via her mother, Ewelina Mielic.
The legal action was before the court for the final assessment of damages only. A separate legal action taken by Abigail’s mother, in relation to the injuries that she suffered in the crash, had previously been settled.
Justice Cross said the little girl has no recollection of the trauma but there was no doubt she had significant pain. He added that she has small and indistinct scars from where lines had been inserted and she had also got injections and antibiotics in hospital. She had completely recovered within a year.
Justice Cross referred to Abigail’s injuries as moderate but not insignificant. He awarded €30,000 in general damages and also awarded for past care, bringing the total to €54,431.