Limerick pensioner’s ‘near miraculous’ recovery

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

The High Court was sitting in Limerick
A PENSIONER who made a “near miraculous” recovery after he was knocked down while walking has been awarded almost €180,000 in damages after he was knocked down for a second time.

A PENSIONER who made a “near miraculous” recovery after he was knocked down while walking has been awarded almost €180,000 in damages after he was knocked down for a second time.

This Wednesday the High Court, sitting in Limerick, was told retired Limerick County Council worker Edmund Quinlan, 71, sustained “dreadful, dreadful injuries” when he was “mown down” by a female motorist while walking to the pub near his home in Garryspillane on the evening March 5, 2010.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott was told the pensioner had sustained multiple fractures, including two broken legs, when he was knocked down in a similar incident six years earlier. However Gerald Tynan SC said despite the extent of the injuries his recovery had been “marginally short of miraculous”.

In his evidence, consultant orthopaedic surgeon, Thomas Burke, said Mr Quinlan, sustained two broken bones in his leg and a shattered knee as a result of the second accident.

He also sustained a fracture to his pelvis and a minor facial injury.

Following surgery to reconstruct his knee and to insert metal plates in his leg, Mr Quinlan spent ten weeks in hospital in what was described by Mr Burke as “balanced suspension” which he said is similar to traction.

He said the pensioner, who is almost completely deaf, was a very good and stoical patient during his time at Croom Hospital.

He added that Mr Quinlan began walking again with some trepidation and that he was “spectacularly successful at getting himself outside the hospital so he could have a cigarette.

Commenting that his recovery (after the second accident) had been extraordinary and unexpected, Mr Burke remarked: “If he was in America, his blood would be bottled”.

The court was told that Mr Quinlan spent a year in a nursing home following his discharge from hospital on foot of medical advice and while he has since returned there it is not connected the accident or the injuries he sustained.

Assessing the damages in the case, Mr Justice McDermott said the plaintiff had sustained extensive injuries and that the damage was “extraordinarily severe”.

He said had to undergo a “severe and difficult surgery” but had recovered “against all possible odds”.

The judge awarded Mr Quinlan damages totalling €177,630.64 which included expenses associated with his hospital and nursing home care.

Mr Quinlan, who walks with the aid of a walking stick, was also awarded his legal costs, which are estimated to be in the region of €50,000.