Woman awarded €3m after motorbike accident leaves her paralysed

Woman Awarded €3M After Motorbike Accident Leaves Her Paralysed
Patrycja Swol (38), who worked in Dublin's Merrion Hotel before the accident, is in a wheelchair after she was paralysed from the chest down
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Aodhan O'Faolain

The High Court has given judgment for €3 million in settlement of an action brought by a woman who was catastrophically injured when a motorbike she was a passenger on hit a wall in a car park.

Patrycja Swol (38), who worked as a house-keeping supervisor in Dublin's Merrion Hotel before the accident, is in a wheelchair after she was paralysed from the chest down in the accident at the Abberly Square Apartments car park, High Street, Tallaght, Dublin, on August 17th 2017.


It was alleged the motorcycle had gone over a ramp in the car park, failed to turn and/or lost control and then struck a wall.

Ms Swol, who has since returned to her native Poland, sued the driver of the motorcycle, Szabolcs Elizeus, of the Abberly Square Apartments and the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland which compensate drivers of uninsured or untraced drivers.

The settlement was against Mr Elizeus who was insured, but his policy did not cover him for carrying pillion passengers.

Johnathan Kilfeather SC, with Richard Lyons SC, told the court that unfortunately the Gibraltar based insurer of Mr Elizeus had since gone into administration.


Ms Swol is now reliant on the administrator paying out a dividend towards the settlement while the insurer remains in administration before it will eventually go into liquidation.

Beyond that, thanks to EU legislation, it may be possible to access the balance of settlement from what is effectively a State fund, he said.

Counsel said they wanted the court to look at the amount of the compensation and not approve it but simply decide that it is, in the court's view, fair and reasonable.

Mr Kilfeather also said that following the accident, Ms Swol spent four months in the National Rehabilitation Hospital.


Her rental accommodation in Dublin was not suitable, and she had no option but to return to Poland to live with her parents who adapted the basement in their home to facilitate wheelchair access, he said.

They have very few facilities for her in her home town, and she received no help from the Polish state.  It has been rather difficult for her, but she had a positive approach to life, counsel said.

She hoped to return to Ireland and would have done so had the insurer not gone into administration, counsel said.

Mr Justice Paul Coffey said he was prepared to give judgment for €3 million, plus costs, and declare the settlement as fair and reasonable as requested by Ms Swol's lawyers.

He told Ms Swol, who was present in court, that he wished to convey his very best wishes to her for the future.

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