A schoolgirl’s action for damages for injuries sustained in a car crash in which her sister and friend were killed is to go ahead in the High Court against the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland only.
This follows a settlement of the liability issue in the case of Faith Varden Carberry who was seriously injured when her mother - who was uninsured and banned from driving - crashed in to a clay embankment outside Edgeworthstown five years ago.
Faith Varden-Carberry was seven years of age when her mother crashed into a mud embankment in the disused road outside Edgeworthstown.
Faith’s sister Ava (6) and her friend Michaela Logan were killed and another child was also injured in the tragic accident in November 2007.
Faith’s mother Mary Carberry was later sentenced to six years’ imprisonment with two years suspended in relation to the accident.
In the High Court last week, after several hours of settlement talks, Senior Counsel Liam Reidy SC told Mr Justice Iarflaith O’Neill the issue before the court on liability between the MIBI and Faith’s father Thomas Varden, the owner of the car had been settled.
He said the main case of assessment of damages could be adjourned for three weeks. Mr Justice O’Neill said he was very glad the parties had reached agreement in what was a difficult case.
Faith Varden-Carberry (12) of Clonguish Court, Newtownforbes, had, through her grandfather Anthony Carberry of St Mel’s Road, sued her father Thomas Varden of Renville Village, Oranmore, Co Galway;her mother Mary Carberry of Clonguish Court, Newtownforbes and the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland.
It is claimed that on November 26 2007, a car the property of Mr Varden driven by Ms Carberry who was uninsured was caused to be driven into collision at or near the old Dublin Road, Edgeworthstown, Co Longford.
As a result of the accident, Faith was removed to hospital after her cervical spine had been stabilised. She later underwent surgery and was transferred to Our Lady’s Childrens Hospital,Crumlin where she was treated in a spinal cast for about ten weeks.
It is claimed Faith suffered severe psychological trauma and upset in circumstances where her sister had been killed in the accident. She attended a child psychologist for three months after the accident.
Mr Varden, the court had heard, did not deny he was the owner of the car but claimed the car was being driven by Ms Carberry without his authority. Judgement against Ms Carberry has already been obtained in the case. The case was before the High Court to decide the issue of liability. The assessment of the damages in Faith’s case will now go ahead in three weeks’ time.
In his evidence Mr Thomas Varden, a Galway businessman explained when Ms Carberry was put off the road, she put the children on the phone to him saying they were cold and wet walking the one and a half miles to school.
“It pulled at my heart strings. She was was seeking for me to provide transport, purchase a car and somebody who was insured and had a full licence would drive it,” he told the court. He said he did not want to do it but the children would come on the phone saying they were cold and wet.
He said Ms Carberry was in Alcoholics Anonymous and seemed to be turning over a new leaf. He said he bought a car for €14,000 but she was banned from driving so somebody else would have to drive it.
He later learned the car had been insured and Mary Carberry had signed his name to a cheque.
He said ont he night of the accident he got a phonecall from Mary Carberry. “She said Ava was dead and she thought Faith was dead too,” he said.
He said when he got to the hospital he discovered Mary Carberry had been driving the car. “ I was angry. I am still very angry. No way would I have given the car to her if I thought she was going to use it that way. I trusted her,” he said.