herald

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Judge unimpressed by women's claim over 'wobbly' bus whiplash

Jennifer Byrne at court
Jennifer Byrne at court

Two Dublin women were pushing the boat out too far with compensation claims for injuries on a wobbling bus, a judge said yesterday.

Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke told Jennifer Byrne (36) and her friend Michelle Dwyer (31) that there had been no negligence by Dublin Bus - but said they were entitled to recover damages from Dublin City Council.

Judge Groarke told Dublin Bus solicitor Gerard O'Herlihy that a manhole cover had not been properly replaced following street works and this, in all probability, had been responsible for the bus "wobble".

Damages

Ms Byrne, of The Grove, Belgard Heights, Tallaght, Dublin 24, and Ms Dwyer, of Raheen Close, Tallaght, had each sued Dublin Bus and Dublin City Council for damages of up to €60,000 for injuries they suffered when the bus hit the open manhole.

Both told the court that on July 25, 2013, they were passengers on the 56A when it hit the manhole on Cookstown Road, near Springfield, west Dublin. They said the bus lifted them up off their seats and they received whiplash injuries which lasted until their very recent recovery.

Mr O'Herlihy had closely cross-examined both women on the extent of the injuries they claimed to have suffered in what, on CCTV, appeared to have been a very minor mishap.

Judge Groarke dismissed the case against Dublin Bus and made an order for costs against the city council, who he held responsible, awarding Ms Byrne €5,836 and Ms Dwyer €7,915.

He felt the medical evidence had been confusing as they were still complaining five-and-a-half years later while having received little or no treatment.

He said both were intelligent ladies but he was entirely unimpressed because their injuries were relatively minor, and they were pushing the boat out far, too hard over their injuries.

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