A man who was severely disabled after a car hit him in Malta three years ago has won a €3.1 million settlement in an Irish court case.

David Cooley, 70 and from Youghal in county Cork, Ireland, was hit as he crossed the road in Sliema on April 5, 2019, just hours after he had arrived in Malta.

He suffered multiple fractures and a severe brain injury and remains in hospital to this day, requiring 24-hour medical care.  

Cooley subsequently sued the driver's insurance company, Mapfre Middlesea, in the Irish courts. He did so through an EU directive. Since Maltese law does not allow compensation for general damages for pain and suffering, only medical expenses and the cost of care could be claimed.

On Tuesday, he was awarded a €3.1 million settlement, with much of that expected to go towards care costs allowing Cooley to be cared for at home. 

'Appalling' Maltese authorities

Irish media quoted Cooley's lawyers as being extremely critical of Maltese authorities' handling of the case. 

His lawyer Dan Wall was quoted as saying that the driver who hit Cooley had been five times over the alcohol limit but has not yet been prosecuted.

Wall criticised the way the Maltese authorities handled the case, saying there had been no contact from the Maltese authorities since his client left Malta in an air ambulance.

Cooley’s case raised serious questions about the civil and criminal justice system in Malta in the context of it being an EU state, Wall said. 

Such a denial of liability, he said, was "appalling".

Barrister Thomas Creed told Ireland’s High Court that Mr Cooley spent more than a year in the National Rehabilitation Hospital.


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