Sunday 22 April 2018

Burglar sues shop owner after he injured his testicles while robbing the premises

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Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

A shop owner is being sued by a burglar after he injured himself while robbing a premises in Co Cavan.

A caller named Kevin told Joe Duffy on RTE's Liveline that three men broke into his shop on November 20, 2015.

Kevin claims that one of the burglars injured his testicles while making a getaway from the shop.

"Three men broke into the store at the back of the shop. While they were making their getaway there happened to be someone there and they rang the police and they (burglars) were caught red-handed.

"They had taken stuff from the store and they were ready to load it into the car and make a getaway. The guards came and they were chased back into the store and in the process one of them injured themselves. They were arrested and he was taken to hospital. He injured himself on a shelf or something. He had a cut to his scrotum. In the medical report it said he had to get stitches."

Kevin told Liveline that the three men were given a six month sentence suspended for two years.

However, one of them committed another offence and was jailed.

"He (the man who was injured) is in prison at the moment as far as I know.

"On November 13, I got a letter from his solicitor asking me to take all responsibility for the accident. I talked to my solicitor... and he advised me to wait and see.

"His solicitor then went to PIAB (Personal Injuries Assessment Board) and we got a letter from PIAB saying that if we wanted to take part in the assessment, it would cost €600."

Kevin said that after the burglary he didn't initially claim through his insurance as he "didn't realise the extent of the damage".

"It happened in the store, he was robbing the place. To injure himself he had to use the sledgehammer to gain entrance into the building.

"It's not just me (he's taking action against). He's suing the Garda Commissioner, Minister for Justice, the Attorney General and the State. It would be funny if it wasn't true."

Kevin said that he got a legal letter from the man's solicitor asking him to take full responsibility for the injury.

On Liveline, Joe Duffy said the solicitor letter reads:

"We are satisfied from our instructions that you are responsible for this accident, therefore liable to compensate our client for this personal image loss and damage. We hearby call upon you to admit liability to our client in an open letter within 10 days from the date thereof."

Kevin said that he contacted the solicitor initially as "it didn't make sense".

"They advised me to contact my insurance.

"My solicitor advised me to hand it over to the insurance company because it's impossible to know what will happen. If I don't hand it over to the insurance company because it could end up in court and if it's settled against you I would be held liable. I just have to wait and see what happens next."

A spokesperson for The Personal Injuries Assessment Board said they cannot comment on any individual case but told Independent.ie that "when we receive a claim we are required by law to write to the person the claim is made against giving them the option of having the case assessed by PIAB, which is a low cost and quick system.

"A person against whom a claim is made has the option of having the claim assessed by PIAB or not – it is their choice.  If they opt for it they pay the fee.

"If they do not consent to PIAB assessing the claim, then they are not liable for the fee and the claimant is authorised to take the case to court if they wish. 

"In the event that PIAB assess the claim either party can accept or reject it." 

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