independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Man left paralysed after pool dive on holiday settles case Tim Healy

A YOUNG man was left in a wheelchair following a "horrific accident" when he dived into the shallow end of a holiday resort swimming pool at night.

Today Robert O'Byrne (25), from Dublin, settled his High Court action for damages against Michael Stein Travel Ltd over the accident which occurred while he was on a package holiday to Torremolinos in Spain with his parents in July 2005.



Mr O'Byrne, who was 17 at the time, was left quadriplegic arising out of the "horrific accident", his counsel David Nolan told the court.



Following talks yesterday, the court was told today that the matter had been settled "on specific terms" which are confidential.



Last month, the Supreme Court ruled that Michael Stein Travel could not seek an indemnity against or contribution to damages from the boy's parents, Robert O'Byrne senior and his wife Charis, in relation to the case on grounds that they were responsible for him at the time of the accident.



The travel company had not provided an adequate explanation for the inordinate delay in applying to join the parents as third parties in the case, the court ruled.



In making its case for the parents to be joined in the action, the travel company claimed Robert junior had consumed alcohol on the night and the parents were aware of this.



However, Mr O'Byrne senior said drink was sold indiscriminately to youngsters at the hotel they were staying in.



Mr O'Byrne said he understood the sale of alcohol to minors was an offence under Spanish law. While his son drank alcohol from time to time, it was difficult to prevent that absolutely and his son was "a sensible youngster not inclined to abuse alcohol".



Like all parents, he had to rely to a large extent on the good sense and lawfulness of alcohol vendors, he added.

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