Friday 21 July 2017

Justice Minister's son settles €60k damages claim for whiplash-type injuries

Spokesperson for motorist stated settlement was for €7,500

Frances Fitzgerald. Photo: Arthur Carron
Frances Fitzgerald. Photo: Arthur Carron

Ray Managh

Robert Fitzgerald, a son of the Minister for Justice, today settled a €60,000 damages claim for whiplash type injuries he suffered in a rear-ending accident two years ago.

Fitzgerald, an accountant, who lives at Georgian Village, Castleknock, Dublin 15 had sued motorist Jane Taffee, whose address was confined to care/of AXA Insurance, Wolfe Tone House, Wolfe Tone Street, Dublin.

The amount of the settlement was not disclosed when the case came before the Circuit Civil Court but outside of court a spokesperson for Ms Taffee stated the settlement had been for €7,500.

This is consistent with an order made by Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, for legal costs within the lower jurisdiction of the District Court.

Barrister Frank Martin, counsel for Fitzgerald, thanked Judge Groarke for the time, just under two hours, which the court had allowed to facilitate settlement talks with AXA’s legal team.

Mr Martin, who appeared with Barry Healy & Company, Solicitors, North Circular Road, Phibsborough, Dublin 7, told Judge Groarke the case could be struck out with an order for Mr Fitzgerald’s legal costs on the District Court level.

The settlement figure was not publicly stated in court.

Fitzgerald had alleged that he suffered neck and shoulder injuries in a traffic accident near the centre of Dublin. 

He claimed that a vehicle driven and owned by Taffee had rear ended another vehicle in which he had been a passenger.

Taffee, represented by her insurance company’s legal team which included Delahunty O’Connor, Solicitors, was alleged to have driven her vehicle in a manner which had caused her to have been negligent and which had led to the accident in Lombard Street in July 2015.

Fitzgerald claimed his hobbies, which include tennis and golf, had been adversely affected following the accident.  In his claim he had sued for the full €60,000 jurisdiction of the Circuit Civil Court but settled for the much lesser sum following talks.

He was not in court for the settlement announcement by his counsel, Mr Martin.

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