A five-year-old girl who suffered a catastrophic brain injury as a baby, when she was a passenger in a car driven by her father, has secured an interim payout of €4.7 million in settlement of her action in the High Court.
Luna Vezignol McGuinness was only three-and-half months old when the accident happened in Lissycasey, Co Clare on 27 February 2016.
She had sued her father Laurent Vezignol, as the driver of the car as well as the car's owner, Flynn Brothers Rent a Car, Roscommon.
She brought the proceedings through her mother, Orla Vezignol McGuinness. The case was before the court for an assessment of damages only.
The High Court was told the case arose from particularly tragic circumstances.
The family were living in South America at the time and had come to Ireland on holiday "to show the baby off to the grandparents".
Senior Counsel Oonah McCrann said they had stopped at a garage in Lissycasey and Luna's mother went into the shop.
Her father took the baby out of her seat to comfort her. When her mother returned, she was strapping her into her seat when Mr Vezignol, who is a French national, pulled the car out on to the wrong side of the road "in a momentary lapse of concentration".
The family's car was in a head-on collision with an oncoming vehicle and Luna was unrestrained at the time.
Ms McCrann told the court the family's lives imploded in that instance.
Luna suffered multiple skull fractures and she was taken by helicopter to hospital in Limerick and later transferred to Dublin for surgery. She was not discharged from hospital until the end of April and spent four months in the National Rehabilitation Hospital.
The court heard Luna has a type of cerebral palsy and was a "beautiful little girl" who was much loved and brought joy to all her family.
Her father worked full time and her mother devoted "every minute of every day" to her care.
The court heard Luna's mother and uncle suffered significant injuries in the accident but had not brought claims.
Mr Justice Kevin Cross said both parents had been heroes in caring for their daughter who had come on so much tremendously as a result. He said Luna's claim was a necessary one.
Her case will come back before the court in five years' time, when her future care needs will be assessed.