herald

Wednesday 18 July 2018

Judge throws out mum and kids' €60k crash claims

Fiona Dunne. Photo: Collins Courts
Fiona Dunne. Photo: Collins Courts
Robert McCurdy and Monica Caulfield

A project manager with the Irish Development Association has told a court she was being sued by and on behalf of three people who were not in a car with which she collided.

Fiona Dunne said in the Circuit Civil Court that she was absolutely certain there was no-one in the car after the driver, Robert McCurdy, stepped out to speak to her about the accident she admitted she had caused.

Judge Patrick Quinn, dismissing three €60,000 damages claims against Ms Dunne and AIG Insurance, said McCurdy's former partner, Monica Caulfield, had failed to prove she and her two children were in the car.

He dismissed the damages claims of Caulfield and her two small children, Robin and Bobbie McCurdy, who were both under two at the time, on the basis that Caulfield had failed to convince the court she and her children were in the car.

Caulfield (41), of Cruagh Close, Stepaside, Dublin, told the judge she had been driving the car when Ms Dunne collided with her.

McCurdy had been in the passenger seat and their two children were secured in the back seats.

Fault

Barrister Eamon Marray told the court that Ms Dunne denied Caulfield and the children were in the car at the time and the sole occupant was McCurdy, who had been driving.

Mr Marray said the car had been registered in Caulfield's name and she was the only one insured by AIG to drive it.

Ms Dunne said her car had collided with the vehicle driven by McCurdy near Stepaside on the Enniskerry Road, Dublin, on May 18, 2014, and she had told McCurdy she was sorry and that it was her fault.

She had given McCurdy her details before both left the scene.

"He was a bit edgy and hyper and wanted to get away from the scene, giving me his mobile number," Ms Dunne said.

"We were only there for about five minutes."

Ms Dunne said alarm bells had begun to ring when she later received a text from Caulfield thanking her for inquiring as to the health of her two children.

She immediately went to the gardai and reported details of the collision.

"There was absolutely no one in the car. I'm 100 per cent certain of that," she told the court.

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