Boy settles case for €20,000 over nervous shock from witnessing bus crash

Boy Settles Case For €20,000 Over Nervous Shock From Witnessing Bus Crash
The child witnessed the aftermath of the collision at Caherconlish, Co Limerick in February 2018.
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High Court reporters

A boy who attended the scene of a road traffic collision where the school bus his sisters were travelling in had overturned into a ditch in Co Limerick has settled a High Court nervous shock action for €20,000.

Joe Gavin was aged 11 when he witnessed the aftermath of the incident at Caherconlish, Co Limerick on February 7th, 2018, where more than 30 students and two adults were taken to hospital with injuries.


The boy, from Templemichael, Caherconlish, Co Limerick, had through his mother Linda Gavin sued Curtin Executive Travel Ltd, of Ballyneety, Co Limerick, which operated the school bus service on behalf of Bus Éireann.

In an affidavit to the court, Ms Gavin said her son witnessed the aftermath of the incident and his sisters in a state of serious injury and significant distress.

Last year, the High Court awarded €50,000 to Ms Gavin for psychological injuries over the same incident.

She said her daughters were carried from the scene of the collision, and claimed she received a call on the morning of the incident from her eldest daughter screaming “help me”, explaining the bus had crashed and that she was bleeding.


Ms Gavin said she went to the scene where she saw a man carrying her eldest daughter, who was unconscious and bleeding from her head. Her youngest daughter was being carried by two classmates.

In the High Court on Monday, Mr Justice Garrett Simons was told that a robust defence had been entered in the boy’s case, and it was claimed the child’s attendance at the scene of the collision was not foreseeable and that it was not foreseeable that his parents would bring him to the scene.

The court heard the boy was involved in a road traffic incident in 2019 where the car in which he was a passenger was rear ended, and he had settled an action in the Circuit Court on that matter for €26,000.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Garrett Simons noted the claim was a nervous shock type one where the boy claimed he suffered post-traumatic stress disorder but added he had made a very good recovery.


The judge said there were a number of issues in the case including one report from a child psychiatrist who reported the boy did not develop any symptoms until the 2019 accident.

The judge said it was a very good settlement.

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