Sunday 20 August 2017

Man assaulted and racially abused by bus driver in road rage incident

THE High Court has awarded €5,000 to a man assaulted by a bus driver during a road rage incident in which the man, who is black, was also racially abused
THE High Court has awarded €5,000 to a man assaulted by a bus driver during a road rage incident in which the man, who is black, was also racially abused

Tim Healy

THE High Court has awarded €5,000 to a man assaulted by a bus driver during a road rage incident in which the man, who is black, was also racially abused.

Mr Justice Max Barrett was told the issue of legal costs in the case taken by Anthony Doran against Bus Eireann had also been agreed between the parties.

Last week, the judge found that in the totality of the bus driver's actions, an assault, which also consists of a reasonable apprehension of battery, had occurred.

The aggressive way the bus driver approached Mr Doran's car and tone of his remarks prompted him (Doran) to believe he was about to be hit and to instinctively recoil, the judge said.

Mr Doran, Charlestown Place, St Margaret's Road, Dublin, had appealed a Circuit Court decision dismissing his action against the bus company for assault, battery and false imprisonment.

After overturning that decision in relation to assault only, Mr Justice Barrrett indicated he had in mind an award of €5,000 in damages for Mr Doran. The matter was put back to Wednesday (Jan 20) for an order to be made.

When the case returned, the judge was told the €5,000 sum had been agreed between the parties as had the costs of the case.

The incident occurred in Dublin's city centre on February 28, 2014, when Mr Doran's car broke down and he had to pull into a bus stop.  A number of buses arrived and Mr Doran waved them on but one "acted differently" and the incident occurred,, the judge said.

It was claimed Mr Doran had made a rude gesture to the bus driver before the confrontation.

Mr Justice Barrett said he preferred the version of the events given by Mr Doran to that of the bus driver and by one of his company colleagues who witnessed the incident.

It was a sad irony, the judge said, that Mr Doran, "an Irishman, who is black, was racially abused by a white man who has come to this country from abroad and thus might himself be exposed - unacceptably if it were to occur - to some form of intolerance".

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