The High Court has approved a settlement €282,000 for the family of a man who was killed alongside his friend after a tractor tyre they were inflating exploded.

Donegal men Seamus Hegarty and Kevin Woods died six years ago when a punctured tractor tyre they were fixing became over-inflated and its steel rim blew off and hit them, causing fatal head injuries.

At the time, both men, who grew up together, were involved in potato harvesting work at Crossroads, Killygordan, and had stopped at about 6pm to fix the tyre on Mr Woods' tractor

Mr Hearty's widow Mary, of Cloughfin, Ballindrait, Lifford, brought proceedings on behalf of herself and her four children who were aged between seven and 18 when the accident happened on 21 November 2014. 

The case was defended by the late Mr Woods' insurer, FBD.

At the High Court barrister Miriam Reilly told Mr Justice Garrett Simons that FBD had fully defended the case and that contributory negligence on the part of Mr Hegarty was alleged.

She said a settlement negotiated last July of €282,500 represented just over 50% of the full value of the case.

She said Mrs Hegarty was very happy with the settlement offer and had undertaken to distribute the settlement fairly among her children, counsel added.

Mr Justice Simons said the offer was a very good one given the risk the case carried if it went to a hearing.

There were significant issues concerning causation and contributory negligence, including whether Mr Hegarty should have waited for a pressure gauge, which was on its way from a local garage, to arrive, he said.

He said he was only required to approve the settlement in respect of the youngest child who is still a minor.