€564,000 for rally fan who lost his leg
Published 15/04/2016 | 02:30
A man whose leg was amputated after he was struck by a car taking part in an international rally event has secured €564,000 damages.
The award to Blaine Murphy was made after the Court of Appeal rejected as "perverse" a High Court judge's finding he was primarily liable.
The appeal court increased by almost €364,000 the High Court's award of some €199,000 compensation to Mr Murphy, now aged 30, of Cashelmara, Knocknacarra, Galway.
He had appealed the High Court's finding of 66.66pc contributory negligence against him, which had cut his award for injuries suffered as a 19-year-old spectator at the 2005 Galway International Motor Rally.
He sued County Galway Motor Club Ltd, which organised and managed the rally under the auspices of Irish Motorsport Federation Ltd (Motor Sport Ireland), and Motor Sport Ireland Safety Team, which provided safety services for the rally.
The appeal court found the three defendants 75pc liable with 25pc contributory negligence on his behalf.
Ms Justice Mary Irvine said he had suffered "devastating" injuries at the young age of 19.
The judge, with whom Mr Justice Michael Peart and Mr Justice Paul McDermott agreed, found the greater degree of responsibility lay "by far" with the experts, the three defendants.
She could not but think of fathers kicking ball with their children or teaching them to swim and that Mr Murphy "will likely be denied all of this and so much more".
The judge found the High Court erred in how it awarded sums under various headings, including awarding a "wholly inadequate" €100,000 general damages for future pain and suffering. That sum was increased to €175,000.
She increased the sum for future loss of earnings from €229,602 to €280,815.