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The High Court awards €85,000 in damages to a Plaintiff for psychiatric injuries (PTSD)

The circumstances of the case arose when the Plaintiff was driving home in January 2017 when she came across an accident. Although she did not witness the accident directly, some debris hit her car and she described witnessing a partially dismembered body at the scene.

The Court heard evidence that indicated that the Plaintiff developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as a result of what she witnessed. She claimed that she missed work for an initial period of approximately five weeks and was later absent for further short periods. The Plaintiff ultimately left her job in February 2019 and claimed that this was because of the effects of the accident.

The defendant did not dispute that the accident was caused by their negligence and did not call any witnesses. 

The High Court Judge was of the opinion that; 

  1. she suffered a recognisable psychiatric injury,
  2. This injury was shock induced,
  3. This injury was caused by the defendant’s negligence,
  4. There was an actual or, in this case, apprehended physical injury,

Finally, the Judge indicated that in this case, there was a duty of care owed to Plaintiff not to cause her a reasonably foreseeable injury in the form of psychiatric illness.

The Court awarded the Plaintiff General Damages in the sum of €65,000 to date and €20,000 into the future.


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