Cyclist wins €15k for bus driver's fury
A cyclist who had his thumb almost broken deliberately in a road rage incident has told a court of the aggression that cyclists face from drivers.
Scott Alexander Burns, an occupational therapist who works with cancer patients in Our Ladies Children's Hospital, in Crumlin, said a bus driver bent his right thumb so far back that it tore the ligaments and muscles.
Burns, a father-of-three, of The Orchard, Greenwood, Ayrfield, Dublin, was awarded €15,000 damages for assault against Bus Eireann.
He told his barrister, Jennifer O'Connell, he had cycled to and from work daily for the past 20 years and on August 28, 2009, had ridden up on the footpath at Bachelor's Walk, Dublin, to pass a coach parked on the street outside the Arlington Hotel.
Burns said the driver, William Murray, of Tamarisk Lawn, Kilnamanagh, Tallaght, was removing luggage from the coach and several people were standing around waiting.
He said Murray had started shouting at him, complaining he had interfered with his ability to do his work.
Following an exchange of words, Murray had shoved his chest up against his.
Burns had gone around to the front of the coach and had pictured the registration on his mobile phone before taking a photograph of Murray.
"He knocked my phone out of my hand and when I went to pick it up he grabbed my wrist and pinned my right thumb back all the way," Burns told the court.
He had to be treated in hospital the following day. Paul Douglas, regional personnel manager for Bus Eireann, said Murray had undergone all training modules for a bus driver .
He added that the company had had no knowledge whatsoever that he had any propensity to act in an aggressive manner.