A STUDENT has been awarded €300,000 after he suffered a brain injury when his head was clipped by the mirror of a truck as he stood at pedestrian traffic lights.
Ciaran Chestnutt (25) told the High Court since the 2007 accident, his memory is hopeless and he can't smell or taste. All food, he said, tastes like wet cardboard.
Mr Justice Iarflaith O'Neill today said Mr Chestnutt's injuries have had a huge impact on his life but he had done extremely well coping with his injury and had got his academic year back on track.
Mr Chestnutt of Redford Park, Greystones, Co. Wicklow had sued Waterford City Council which owned the truck and its employee and driver, Michael Coyne.
It was claimed he was lawfully standing at pedestrian lights on Paddy Brown's Road, Waterford, on October 26, 2007 when he was struck by the truck and as a result suffered severe personal injuries, loss and damage.
The defendants denied negligence and claimed Mr Chestnutt was the author of his own misfortune and had walked or run in to the back of the truck and it was an unfortunate accident.
Mr Justice O'Neill said he was satisfied the accident was caused by the negligence of the driver for whom the Council was vicariously liable.
The driver, the judge said failed to keep a lookout and was driving close to the kerb causing his wing mirror to protrude over the kerb. The judge ruled there was no contributory negligence on behalf of Mr Chestnutt who suffered very severe injuries.
In evidence, Mr Chestnutt said he was studying architectural technology at the Waterford Institute of Technology. On the date of the accident he was on his way to photograph a building at an industrial estate for an assignment.
He said he does not remember the accident and only has glimpses of memory before the accident happened.
He said he has been left with a scar on his forehead and a permanent black spot in the vision of his right eye and he cannot smell or taste.
He said his memory is hopeless and his concentration is very bad. He said he lost a year of college as a result of the accident but graduated from that course in 2008 and is now studying architecture.