Claims News

€550,000 Brain Injury Compensation Settlement for Tram-Surfing Girl

Posted on: October 20th, 2018

€550,000 brain injury compensation has been awarded to a girl who sustained brain damaging injuries when she fell from a Luas while ‘tram-surfing’.

At the High Court Ms Rebecca Kelly was  awarded the compensation in relation to the accident which occurred when she was 13-years-old.

The fall occurred at the Fatima station on the Red Line eight years ago when Ms Kelly and a friend attempted to jump on and grip the outside of Luas tram doors as it departed. Ms Kelly fell backwards onto the tracks, hitting her head on the ground. She had to be dragged out of the path of an oncoming tram.

Legal Counsel for Ms Kelly, who recently gave birth to her first child, Bruce Antoniotti SC informed told the High Court that the young woman accepted the accident was her fault and she acknowledged she should not have been tram surfing. She added that she was aware that this was a very dangerous thing to do at the time of the accident. The High Court was told that Ms Kelly wanted no blame to be placed at the hands of the Luas driver who was on duty at the time of the accident.

Through her mother Elizabeth Kelly, Ms Kelly (20) took the Luas fall compensation action against Luas operators Veolia Transport Dublin Light Rail Ltd and Veolia Transport Ireland Ltd of St John Rogerson’s Quay, due to the accident that happened on September 3, 2010.

As part of the compensation action she (Ms Kelly) alleged that there was a failure to have any or any adequate visual systems implemented on the tram and that the driver had no clear vision of the non-platform side of the tram before leaving the station. The tram, it was claimed, left the platform without first observing the non-platform side of the tram.

Luas operator, Veolia, denied all the claims and argued that there was contributory negligence on the part of the young girl as she had allegedly exposed herself to the risk of injury by tram surfing with a total disregard for her own safety. Legal representative for Ms Kelly, Mr Antoniotti SC told the High Court it was a tragic case. He told the Judge that tram surfing involved young people jumping on to the side door where there was a small ledge and holding on wit their fingers between the door and the body of the tram.

Mr Justice Cross, in approving the Luas accident compensation settlement said that Ms Kelly did not need to be told that she had done something silly. However, he commended her for being honesty.

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