The courts have awarded a teenager for injuries sustained in a bus accident when he was twelve years old a settlement of compensation valued at €9 million.
In February 2009, Carlos Tesch (twelve years of age at the time of the incident) was walking along the Herbert Road in Bray, County Wicklow, with his friends when he came across a group of youths who had previously threatened the young boy. In order to avoid the gang, he ran across the road. As he was running, Carlos was hit by an oncoming bus.
Due to the force of the impact, Carlos sustained serious head injuries. The emergency services were notified, and he was transported to hospital, where he was diagnosed with a fracture to the base of his skull. Carlos is now unable to speak or walk without aid, and is reliant upon the care of his parents for the rest of his life.
On behalf of his son, Hans Tesch made a compensation claim for the catastrophic injuries that Carlos sustained in the bus accident against Dublin Bus. The defendants denied their liability for Carlos' injuries, stating that the driver could not have foreseen the young boy running out onto the street before him. The driver also stated that he had been driving well within the 50km/h speed limit, and therefore was not at fault.
The case was brought before the High Court, and Dublin Bus was found 70% liable for Carlos' injuries. It was revealed that although the driver was within the speed limit, he was talking to a passenger just before the accident occurred and was therefore distracted from driving.
The decision made in the High Court was appealed, and the case was brought to the Supreme Court. The case was heard again, and the Supreme Court upheld the High Court's decision. The case returned to the High Court so that damages could be assessed.
Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard the case at the High Court, and deemed €9 million as an appropriate settlement of compensation for his injuries. The judge stated that she was fully aware of what parents had to give up for their children in the cases of catastrophic injuries.
The judge was informed that Hans gave up his managerial job in order to care for Carlos full-time, and twice made the journey to China in order for his son to receive stem-cell treatment. Carlos currently attends the Spanish Institute.