Thursday 29 September 2016

Taxi driver who was told to pay damages to religious order after crashing into a nun’s car loses appeal

Saurya Cherfi

Published 27/11/2015 | 15:17

Orji had appealed against a District Court order directing him to pay €2,910 for damages to the nun’s car.
Orji had appealed against a District Court order directing him to pay €2,910 for damages to the nun’s car.

A taxi driver, who was told to pay damages to a religious order after crashing into a nun’s car, lost an appeal in the Circuit Civil Court today.

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Sister Maria Sidorova told Judge Jacqueline Linnane that Mishark Orji struck her car in an overtaking manoeuvre on South Great George Street, Dublin, in June 2013.

She said Orji became very angry and agitated and started taking photographs of the accident scene when she was trapped in the driver’s seat.

When barrister Shane English, counsel for the Redemptoristines Superioress FTB, asked him if he had taken out a claim for damages for personal injuries against the order, Orji said he didn’t recall having instructed a solicitor to initiate proceedings.

Mr English, who appeared with Cullen & O’Beirne solicitors, told the court the claim by Orji against the order, which has its monastery at St Alphonsus Road, Dublin,  alleged that he had been depressed.

Orji, of Dromheath Avenue, Mulhuddart, Dublin, said his hand had been hurt by members of An Garda Síochána who arrested him at the scene.

Sister Sidorova told the court she had been unable to get out of her car through the driver’s door as it was blocked by Orji’s car and she had pulled down her window and asked him if he was ok.

She said that he ignored her and went to the boot of his car to get a camera.  She had needed to climb out of the passenger’s seat to get out of her car.

The court heard that Orji and Sister Sidorova both agreed to call the gardaí, who were very busy that day as US President Barack Obama was in town.

Sister Sidorova said three gardaí who happened to pass by the scene listened to their accounts and took their details, when a security man from a store nearby came and invited them to watch the accident from the store CCTV footage.

The court heard that when the gardaí came out of the store and told Sister Sidorova that the accident was not her fault, Orji became very angry and started to shout at her.  She had been scared and terrified.  Orji had denied having shouted at the nun.

Sister Sidorova said that Orji had needed to be restrained and was eventually handcuffed and taken in a garda car.  The court heard no charges were pressed against him.

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Judge Linnane said it was clear from the CCTV footage that liability rested with Mr Orji, as he should have waited until the road was clear before overtaking.  She dismissed Orji’s appeal and awarded legal costs against him.

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