Appeal court urged to cut €124,000 award to man knocked off bike by bus
Posted on 12th January 2023 at 21:00
Bus Éireann asked a three-judge appeal court to cut the award to between €30,000 and €40,000
The Court of Appeal has been urged to cut substantially a €124,000 award made last year to a man who was knocked off his bike in a cycle lane by a bus.
Gearoid O’Daly (38), a bank lending officer of Heuston South Quarter, Dublin, sued Bus Éireann and driver Declan Sheridan over the incident which occurred as he was travelling along the cycle lane at Custom House Quay, Dublin, on June 8th, 2016.
Bus Éireann denied liability and claimed contributory negligence, arguing Mr O’Daly failed to look where he was going.
Mr O’Daly fractured his wrist and suffered abrasions and bruising. He claimed he developed chronic long-term pain and underwent numerous treatments to try to deal with it.
Last April, the High Court’s Mr Justice Michael Hanna awarded him €124,000 after accepting Mr O’Daly’s evidence.
The judge said there was sharp division between each side’s medical experts about ongoing chronic pain that Mr O’Daly said he suffered for years after the accident. However, the judge preferred the evidence of Mr O’Daly’s pain specialist.
On Thursday, Bus Éireann urged a three-judge appeal court to cut the award to between €30,000 and €40,000.
Gerard O’Herlihy, solicitor for the bus company, said he accepted Mr O’Daly had fractured his elbow and suffered some bruising, which he described as ”the usual thing if you were knocked off your bike by a bus”.
However, in this case there was the “unusual situation” of what the High Court judge described as the “chasm between what happened and what he suffered” and the “medically unexplained” pain he claimed to suffer from subsequently, Mr O’Herlihy said.
Mr O’Daly underwent 15 MRI scans and was assiduous in claiming special damages “for everything under the sun”, the lawyer said. He continued to work despite claiming to be in “an appalling state”, he said.
It was his client’s case that the appropriate award for his injury was somewhere between €30,000 and €40,000, he said.
Michael Byrne SC, for Mr O’Daly, argued the award should stand. His claim for special damages should also stand because there was no suggestion Mr O’Daly had not undergone the various treatments he underwent, counsel said.
He had injuries of a physical nature but these ultimately did not give him as much trouble as the widespread body pain syndrome, he said.
“This was a 33-year-old man (at the time of the accident) minding his own business, very fit but now he is never pain-free. His life is enormously disrupted in trying to deal with these things”, counsel said.
The Court of Appeal reserved its decision.
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