Doctor blamed schoolgirl for car accident which left teenager brain damaged

Scurrilous allegations were made and an 'utterly dishonest' account was given by the doctor driver of the car after the accident, the High Court heard
Doctor blamed schoolgirl for car accident which left teenager brain damaged

A doctor who drove her car at speed through a red light knocking down and catastrophically injuring a schoolgirl blamed the teenager for the accident, the High Court has heard.

Scurrilous allegations were made and an “utterly dishonest” account was given by the doctor driver of the car after the accident, meaning the 14-year-old was blamed for the incident for four years, Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds was told.

As a result, Ashleigh Carroll, who has been left brain damaged and who has sued the doctor, Shereen El Mashad, in the High Court, has also asked the court to award aggravated damages in the case.

Ashleigh’s counsel, Richard Kean SC, instructed by Keira O’Reilly of Keans Solicitors, told the court it has to mark its revulsion at the behaviour. Counsel said the doctor, Shereen El Mashad, worked at Beaumont Hospital at the time and was on her way there when the accident happened on the morning of October 20th, 2016.

He said the doctor was not in court and had gone back to her native Egypt. The doctor’s account of the accident in Coolock, Dublin, was “utterly dishonest”, he said, and if this defence had prevailed Ashleigh would not get compensation for her horrific injuries.

Arrest warrant

Mr Kean said there is an Irish arrest warrant for the doctor in relation to the accident.

The doctor's insurers, Axa Insurance, had waited for four years to admit liability “when they knew their client was on the run,” Counsel said.

Ashleigh Carroll, now aged 19 years from Glasnevin, Dublin, has through her mother, Louise Carroll, sued the driver of the car, Shereen El Mashad.

It is claimed that Ashleigh was lawfully traversing a public footpath near Oscar Traynor Road, Coolock, and was in the process of crossing a roadway when a vehicle driven by the doctor, and in particular the wing mirror, collided with the teenager, causing her to spin, fall to the ground and hit her head.

Mr Kean said liability was admitted in November last year, and the doctor admits reckless driving, going through a red light, driving at speed and driving in a bus lane.

At the opening of the case, Mr Kean said that at the time of the accident Ashleigh was thriving at school and was academically inclined and hoping to study forensic anthropology in Harvard along with medicine.

He said she was in second year at secondary school and was also studying Japanese.

Mr Kean, referring to the defence filed by the doctor in the case, said it claimed Ashleigh ran across the road colliding with her car when Counsel said the schoolgirl was walking.

The doctor has also claimed Ashleigh had allegedly created a public nuisance and hazard by her actions and the manner in which she attempted to cross the road and she had allegedly run in to the side of the doctor’s car.

Counsel said that in a statement to gardaí the doctor said she was 100 per cent sure she went through when the lights were amber, and she felt something hit her car.

The case before Ms Justice Reynolds continues on Friday.

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