The Malta Independent 16 May 2022, Monday

Irish pensioner wins €3.1m after being hit by drunk driver in Malta in 2019

Albert Galea Tuesday, 10 May 2022, 15:32 Last update: about 5 days ago

An Irish pensioner who suffered catastrophic injuries and was left wheelchair bound after being hit by a drunk driver while in holiday in Malta has settled an Irish High Court action for €3.1 million, according to Irish media reports.

The Irish Examiner reported on Tuesday how David Cooley, who was hit by a car which his lawyers said was being driven by someone who was five times the drinking limit when he was arrested in Sliema on 5 April, 2019, had settled with a Maltese insurance company over the case.

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Cooley, who is now 70 years old, suffered a traumatic brain injury and injuries to his chest, hip, leg, and arm which all left him in an induced coma.

He was transferred back to Ireland by air ambulance on 30 April that same year, and, even though he has regained cognitive functions, has been wheelchair-bound and forced to live in a nursing home ever since.

He is deemed to be severely disabled as a result of the accident, and will need 24-hour care for the rest of his life.

The case was filed against local insurers Mapfre Middlesea PLC, and it was settled for €3.1 million on Tuesday.

Speaking outside of the courthouse in Ireland, Cooley’s lawyers criticised the way in which the case had been handled by Maltese authorities.

His solicitor Daniel Wall said that even though the driver who hit Cooley was five times over the legal alcohol limit, he had not been prosecuted. 

"David left Malta in an air ambulance in April 2019. Since then, there has been no communication from the police service in Malta or the Malta Justice Department,” Wall said.

The settlement will mean that Cooley can now leave the nursing home he has had to live at and live in a house which is either purpose-built or purposely-converted to suit his needs.

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