Dad not allowed invest €25k awarded to his children after car accident, court rules

car crash

22 January 2013

A judge has refused to allow a man personally deal with the investment of €25,000 damages awarded to his three young children.

After the children were awarded the money as compensation for personal injuries they suffered in a rear-ending road accident, Neil Morrison asked Judge Matthew Deery if he could transfer the money into sterling and invest it in Northern Ireland.

Barrister Tony McKeown told the Circuit Civil court that Morrison’s daughters Sophie and Katie and his son, Lewis, had been injured in the accident on Frosses Road, Ballymena, on September 4, 2010.

He said they had been travelling in the family car with their parents, Neil and Andrea Morrison, of Earlford Heights, Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, to an air show at Portrush.

Mr McKeown said a car driven by Sarah Gilligan, of Thormanbhy Lodge, Howth, Co Dublin, had collided with the rear of the Morrison car on Frosses Road, injuring all of the occupants. Liability for the accident had been conceded by Ms Gilligan.

Mr and Mrs Morrison, who had already settled their own claims against Ms Gilligan’s insurers for undisclosed sums, had brought all of the family’s claims in the Republic as they were legally entitled to do.

Judge Deery heard that the children, all back-seat passengers, had suffered typical whiplash injuries to their neck, head and shoulders but had quickly recovered.

He said settlement offers of €7,500 each had been made to Sophie (12) and Katie (6) and a €10,000 offer had been made to Lewis (11) and he recommended acceptance of them by the court.

Mr McKeown said Mr Morrison was a legal assistant in Co Antrim and sought release of the funds to transfer to Northern Ireland where he believed he could now obtain a good rate of exchange and a good interest rate from the Halifax.

Judge Deery approved the awards but said it was the duty of the Courts Service in the Republic to protect the funds of minors and he refused Mr Morrison’s application. He directed that the awards be invested in court funds until each of the children reached the age of 18.

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