Mystery of car that was in two places at once
A consultant engineer's BMW car was involved in a rear-ending accident in Dublin at the same time as it was parked outside his Co Mayo home, a court heard yesterday.
Michael Grogan, of Killgillin, Athymass, Ballina, told the Circuit Civil Court the BMW that had driven into the back of Michael Murphy's Opel on Phibsboro Road, Dublin, on April 27, 2010 could not have been his car.
"Yes," he told Seamus Breen, counsel for the Motor Insurers' Bureau of Ireland (MIBI), "it was the same car as mine, the same colour with the same registration number but not my car."
Mr Grogan said his car was at his home from where he operated his business and he was sick that day. His wife, Michelle, was in Dublin that day to keep a hospital appointment with their young son but had travelled by train or had got a lift. He could not remember which.
Michael Murphy (61), of Tulip Court, Darndale, Dublin, told his counsel, Timothy Sheehan, he had been stopped in a line of vehicles at traffic lights on Phibsboro Road when the BMW had driven into the back of him.
His car had been damaged and he had injured his neck which doctors had diagnosed as a sprain. He had spoken to the driver of the BMW and they had moved their cars into a bus lane agreeing to exchange insurance details. He had noted Michael Grogan's name and address, home phone and mobile phone numbers from a business card attached to the windscreen of the BMW.
Later he had visited a doctor and his solicitor who had sued the Grogans as well as the MIBI.
Retired Ballina garda Denis McCann said he had taken a statement about Mr Grogan's alleged involvement in the accident and had told him that if he could produce records of his having been in his office at home on the day, such as phone calls or emails, it would be of significant assistance to the inquiry. No such records had been produced.
Circuit Court President Mr Justice Matthew Deery said the details provided by Mr Murphy could only have been noted by him at the time of the accident.
He awarded him €6,500 damages against Mr and Mrs Grogan and dismissed the case against the MIBI. He directed the Grogans pay Mr Murphy's and the MIBI's legal costs.