Friday 21 June 2019

'Don't call me love', says judge as trader drops €60k claim over crash

James Flynn dropped a €60k claim for damages. Photo: Collins Courts
James Flynn dropped a €60k claim for damages. Photo: Collins Courts

A judge told a market trader not to call her "love" during an unsuccessful €60,000 damages claim at the Circuit Civil Court.

James Flynn (46), who works at markets throughout Munster, kept addressing defence counsel Adrianne Fields as love.

But when he adopted the same approach with the court, Judge Sarah Berkeley told him: "Don't call me love."

Mr Flynn, of St Mary's Terrace, Rathkeale, Co Limerick, had sued Dublin City Council roads engineer Alec Dundon for damages for injuries arising from a rear ending at a toll plaza at Clonadacasey, Portlaoise, Co Laois, on October 15, 2015.

After being reprimanded by Judge Berkeley he addressed Ms Fields as "lady".

Ms Fields, who appeared for Mr Dundon, of Primrose Avenue, Phibsboro, Dublin 7, said liability was conceded in the case which had become an assessment of damages only.

Mr Flynn told the court that he was a passenger in a box van driven by his brother-in-law which had been reversed into by Mr Dundon's car at the tolls.

Despite wearing his seat belt Mr Flynn said he was slapped forward against the dashboard, injuring his neck and shoulder.

He said he suffered occasionally from memory loss. He estimated the van was driving between 64kph and 112kph when Mr Dundon reversed at speed into the front of the vehicle as he "attempted to jump lanes".

Mr Flynn said he was taken to hospital but had little memory of exactly how the accident happened. He could recall a loud bang when the vehicles collided and hitting the dash.

He said he suffered from a serious ear infection and all participants in the case agreed they would raise their voices.

When at one stage he said he was becoming frightened because of the manner in which Ms Fields was "roaring" at him, Judge Berkeley reassured him that voices had to be raised so he could hear them.


"It appears you are hearing certain things without difficulty, may I add," she told him.

Ms Fields said Mr Dundon was conceding he had reversed into the front of the van but defence witnesses would be alleging that the collision was a very minor tip of the bumpers.

Facing a barrage of questions during Ms Fields's cross examination, Mr Flynn referred on several occasions to his intermittent loss of memory and said he may not have heard or may have misunderstood questions put to him by a doctor examining him on behalf of the defendant.

He denied that a pain on the left side of his neck had magically jumped to the right side when recently examined.

He agreed he had sued for damages in accidents in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2010 and, while having withdrawn some of them, had been awarded €90,000 over an accident in which he suffered serious leg injuries.

When an engineer for Mr Dundon played back a CCTV recording for Judge Berkeley of the vehicles slowly approaching the toll plaza and stopping, the judge directed it be considered by both Mr Flynn's and Mr Dundon's legal teams.

A short time later counsel for Mr Flynn told Judge Berkeley that his client had decided to withdraw his claim. The judge ordered that Mr Flynn pay the legal costs of the case.

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