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Thursday 23 November 2017

Passenger injured in car crash with Limousin heifer settles case

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Stock Picture

Court Reporter

A man has settled his High Court action over injuries he suffered when he took a lift in what was described as a 'boy racer' car which crashed into a heifer on the road and has never been traced.

Paul Hannigan suffered injuries to his chest, neck and shoulder when the hoof of the heifer struck him in the accident on October 18, 2010, on the Ragg to Thurles road in Co Tipperary, the court heard.

After the accident, the driver of the boy racer car left the scene and the injured man had to flag down another motorist for help. That driver remains unidentified and untraced, the court heard.

As a result, Mr Hannigan (48) Ballingeary East, Clonmel, Co Tipperary, had sued the Motor Insurers  Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) which compensates victims of uninsured and untraced drivers. 

He also sued the cattle owner, farmer Richard Moloney, Ballinahow, Ballycahill Thurles, Co Tipperary.

Mr Hannigan had taken the lift in the boy racer car after his own truck was involved in an accident that night.

His counsel Jermy Maher said Mr Hannigan had been walking after 11pm at night to get home after his truck went off the road.

His first misfortune that night had been to leave his mobile phone at home.

When his truck later accidentally drove off the road and was damaged, he had set off with a torch and a hi-vis jacket to walk the many miles home.

After a couple of hours, a 'boy racer' car pulled up and the occupants offered him a lift, counsel said.

Mr Hannigan got in to the front seat of the car.

Mr Hannigan asked the driver to slow down and eventually he did, but at The Ragg a number of Limousin heifers were on the road.

The driver, counsel said, should have been able to stop the car but it hit a heifer. The animal was thrown over the car and its hind leg hit the windscreen  and Mr Hannigan.

Counsel said the driver and the other occupant of the boy racer car left Mr Hannigan and drove off. He later managed to flag down another car.

In the action, it was claimed the car was driven at excessive speed and the cow was straying on the public road.

The accident was caused by the negligence and breach of duty of the unidentified and untraced driver and/ or the owner of the heifer, it was also claimed.

The claims were denied.

After talks between the parties, Mr Justice Michael Hanna was told the case had been settled.

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