€54,000 for girl who was born prematurely one day after mum was in car accident

9 July 2021

A GIRL who was delivered prematurely by emergency caesarean section the day after a car driven by her pregnant mother was in an accident has been awarded more than €54,000.

Abigail Mielec’s mother was 31 weeks pregnant when the accident with a tractor occurred on April 24, 2014.

The baby girl spent the first 36 days of her life in hospital after the accident on the road from Carrick-on-Suir to Rathgormack, Co Tipperary.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross said the injuries were moderate but not insignificant and it was not the start in life it should have been for the girl.

Abigail, of Fiddtown, Co Kilkenny, through her mother, Ewelina Mielic, sued the owner of a tractor Pat Murphy, Ballyquinn, Carrickbeg, Carrick on Suir, Co Waterford, and the driver Patrick O’Brien, Bishopstown, Mothel, Co Waterford, over the accident.

The collision occurred when the tractor, while emerging from a field, collided with the car driven by the mother.

It was claimed there was a failure to recruit assistance from others to provide warnings to motorists on the public road that a slow-moving vehicle was to emerge from a field onto the road.

There was also an alleged failure to give any or any adequate and proper warning of the presence of the tractor or its intentions.

The case was before the court for the assessment of damages only. Abigail’s mother previously settled her own action for damages in relation to the accident.

Following the accident, the mother was taken to Clonmel Hospital. The woman had hit her belly of the steering wheel and she was kept in hospital.

On April 25, Abigail was delivered by emergency caesarean and was nine weeks premature.

The baby had respiratory difficulties and was transferred to Cork University Hospital, where she remained in intensive care.

A gastrointestinal problem was diagnosed and the baby remained in the Cork hospital until she was 32 days old. She was transferred to another hospital and discharged home on June 1, 2014.

At home, the baby at times suffered severe abdominal pain.

Mr Justice Cross said the little girl has no recollection of the trauma but there was no doubt she had significant pain.

She had small and indistinct scars from where lines had been inserted and she had also got injections and antibiotics in hospital, he said.

She had fully recovered within a year, he said. 

Her injuries, he said, were moderate but not insignificant. He awarded €30,000 in general damages and also awarded for past care, bringing the total to €54,431.

Source: Irish Independent

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