Claims News

Claim against Dublin City Council Resolved in High Court

Posted on: August 20th, 2014

An injury compensation claim against Dublin City Council has been resolved at the High Court in favour of a man who suffered a severe brain injury when being run over by a refuse lorry.

Padraig Hearns´ night out in Dublin on 23rd April 2007 ended in tragedy when he was assaulted in Sycamore Street in the city´s Temple Bar area and, as he lay dazed and confused in the road, was run over by a Dublin City Council refuse lorry.

As a result of the refuse lorry running over him, thirty-nine year old Padraig from Hollywood in County Wicklow suffered a fractured skull and severe eye and arm injuries. He remained in hospital for several months recovering from his injuries – part of the time in an induced coma.

Due to the brain injury sustained when the refuse lorry ran over him, Padraig – a former Mr. Ireland who worked for British Airways as an air steward – now lives at home, cared for by his parents and siblings. He will never be able to work again or live an independent life.

Padraig´s parents made an injury compensation claim against Dublin City Council for the injuries he had sustained, but the local authority denied their responsibility for Padraig´s injuries – contesting the claim on the grounds that it was not the operators of the refuse lorry that were to blame for their son lying in the road in front of the truck.

The case went to the High Court, where Mr Justice Michael Peart found in Padraig´s favour after noting that Dublin City Council had breached its own by-laws by collecting commercial waste in the Temple Bar area between 12:00pm and 6:00pm – by-laws which had been implemented just three months before the tragic accident.

The judge commented “It makes complete sense from a public safety point of view that these large refuse trucks would not be permitted to try and negotiate their way through an area such as the narrow and crowded streets of Temple Bar when so many people are present”.

In the judge´s opinion the operators of the refuse lorry had a duty of care to have a man outside of the truck when it moved away in order to ensure that it was safe to do so. Judge Peart ruled that Dublin City Council´s refuse lorry operators had breached that duty of care by failing to notice Padraig lying in the street beneath the truck.

Mr Justice Michael Peart decided that Padraig´s injury compensation claim against Dublin City Council should be settled for €4,885,888, which included €350,000 for past and present pain and suffering, €266,341 for loss of earnings, €155,230 for care costs to date and €3,485,000 for care costs in the future.



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