Mid Wales

Ceredigion crash toddler 'sues mother's insurers'

The Royal Courts of Justice in The Strand, London

Lawyers for a toddler who suffered catastrophic injuries in a car crash that left her mother dead have launched a legal bid for compensation from her insurers.

Cora-Lynn Kelley-Mattock, of Aberporth, Ceredigion, was two when her mother, Josephine, 19, accidentally crashed her Volkswagen Polo in Llandygwydd in 2013.

Details of her claim have emerged in a High Court writ.

Miss Kelley's insurers say her claimed negligence is not admitted.

She died from brain injuries three days after the accident on Boxing Day in 2013, on the A484.

Her daughter, now four, suffered severe traumatic head injuries in the crash and has been left with serious disabilities, her barrister James Bell said in the writ.

Her lawyers claim Miss Kelley was negligent in crashing the car and may also have failed to strap her into her baby seat properly.

Mr Bell said the car was approaching the entrance to the Llwyndryrys residential home, near Cenarth, Carmarthenshire, when it left the road.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The crash took place on the A484

He said it travelled along the grass verge and "collided heavily sideways with a dry stone wall".

The toddler suffered a severe head injury, as well as internal injuries and damage to one eye.

The writ claimed her mother "failed to heed slow warnings" and "drove too fast" in damp conditions.

She also "failed to ensure that at all times her daughter was properly restrained and safely secured in her car seat," the document added.

"The deceased thereby exposed her daughter to an unnecessary and foreseeable risk of injury," it said.

Ceredigion Coroner Peter Brunton issued a verdict of death by misadventure in the case of Miss Kelley at Aberystwyth County Court, in June 2014.

'Negligence'

The coroner said she might have been distracted by her daughter or been trying to avoid another vehicle when she crashed.

In their defence to the action, Glyn Edwards, for Miss Kelley's estate and motor insurers, said the basic facts of the crash was not disputed.

However, he said negligence on the part of Miss Kelley, either in causing the crash or in not strapping in her daughter properly, was not admitted.

He said Cora-Lynn's lawyers are "required to prove that her mother's negligence was the likely cause of the accident as alleged."

They must also prove there was not a defect in the car seat which caused it to malfunction.

The extent of Cora-Lynn's disabilities and the value of her compensation claim are also in dispute.

The contents of the writ and the defence have yet to be tested in evidence before a judge.

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