A High Court case over an accident in which a car owned by Green Party Senator Vincent P Martin ran a red light and struck a pram carrying a baby has been settled.
The accident happened four years before Mr Martin, the Green Party’s spokesman on foreign affairs and Brexit, was appointed Senator.
Mr Martin, of Mullacash, North Naas, Co Kildare, has been sued by Jana Novakova, 36 – a mother of two who formerly lived in Wyckham Point, Dundrum, Dublin and is now based in Slovakia – for physical and psychological injuries, which she has suffered as a result of the accident.
The case was heard in the District Court last February when the judge ordered the matter to be referred to the High Court, which has unlimited jurisdiction, due to the scale of Ms Novakova’s alleged injuries and that court’s limited €60,000 jurisdiction jurisdiction.
The case came before the High Court today as Patrick O’Connell SC with Elaine Power BL for Ms Novakova told Ms Judge Carmel Stewart it was only for the judge to assess damages as liability was acknowledged.
After the case started, there were talks between the parties and it was settled.
Earlier, the lawyer said the accident happened on February 9, 2016, when Ms Novakova was crossing at a pedestrian crossing near her then home in Dundrum.
She pushed a stroller with her two-month-old daughter in it with one hand and held her two-year-old daughter with the other.
Ms Novakova told the court that she and her two-year-old counted down the seconds until the lights changed in their favor before they started crossing them.
Suddenly, Mr. Martin’s BMW drove “very quickly” through the red light, hit the pram and threw the baby to the ground.
“I just remember screaming all over the street not knowing if you’re going to pick up your baby alive or not,” she said.
She said she ended up picking the child up and because she was wrapped in blankets, the child was not badly injured. However, she said the baby made no sound.
“I shook her and I shook her and got in the driver’s car and she started crying,” she said.
She remembered that someone had brought her older daughter to her.
Her husband, who worked nearby, came and took the toddler away while she and the baby were taken to Tallaght hospital by ambulance. The baby, who had scratches on her head and leg, was unconscious and was kept in the hospital for three days, she said.
When the car hit the stroller as she was holding it, the court heard Ms Novakova sustained injuries to her right arm and shoulder.
It was also claimed that she developed post-traumatic stress disorder.
When the accident happened, she was on maternity leave as a sales manager at Microsoft, and when she eventually returned to work, she found that she could no longer concentrate or do her job as well as before.
She suffered flashbacks and nightmares about the incident and felt like she was “going crazy”.
Although she loved Ireland, she said she “lost my confidence here and at home I have felt safer and that doctors can help me more than here, although I have not tried psychiatry here.”
She decided to return to Slovakia in May 2017, where she also received treatment for her mental injuries, she said. The court heard that despite the surgery, she continued to be in pain.
After discussions between the parties, the court was told that the case was settled and could be scrapped.
Ms Justice Stewart wished Ms Novakova, who is expecting their third child, the best of luck and said it had been “clearly difficult and traumatic years”.
She wished her all the best with her pregnancy and a long and happy life.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/case-settled-over-accident-where-green-senator-vincent-p-martin-drove-through-red-light-and-hit-pram-with-baby-in-it-42086112.html Green Senator ran a red light and rammed a stroller with a baby in it