Saturday 24 August 2019

Boxer loses damages case against former minister after road crash

Former Boxer Jim Rock. Photo: Collins Courts
Former Boxer Jim Rock. Photo: Collins Courts

Tom Tuite

Former professional boxer Jim Rock has lost his claim for damages against ex-justice minister Alan Shatter following a collision between their cars on a road in south Dublin.

The 47-year-old sued the former Fine Gael politician at Dublin District Court for €1,800 after the accident involving his €50,000 Mercedes CLS and Shatter's Saab at around midnight of December 2, 2015.

Rock, who boxed professionally from 1995 to 2009, did not seek personal injuries and his claim was for the cost of car repairs and to rent a replacement vehicle while the work was being carried out.

Dublin District Court heard the two cars suffered minor scrapes and damages to paint work as they were both going slowly around a bend on Sussex Road.

Rock and Shatter accused one another of crossing into each other's lane causing the collision.

Rock told he court he had beeped his horn and applied the brakes. He said the politician was "obnoxious" after their cars came to a halt while Shatter said the plaintiff was "belligerent".

Former minister Alan Shatter. Photo: Collins Courts
Former minister Alan Shatter. Photo: Collins Courts

His parliamentary assistant who was travelling with the former TD called gardaí, the court was told.

Dismissing the "hotly contested" case, Judge Anthony Halpin said there was very little common ground in their testimony and it was difficult to adjudicate. Judge Halpin said the accident was a result of momentary inattentiveness but the evidence was not clear that Shatter was responsible. Both men believed their version of evidence, he said. Rock testified Shatter crossed into his lane causing scuffing and scrapes to the Mercedes while Shatter said he was taking a corner slowly.

Rock said he told an insurance firm representative that he had got the car fixed in January 2016 and his wife had paid. He said in his claim Shatter swerved suddenly and without warning and in evidence he told the court he beeped and applied the brakes.

Denying he had caused the accident, Shatter said Rock had been belligerent and he said he did not hear any car beeping before the collision. He said the amount of damages claimed was "so ridiculously small" compared to the time spent on the case, "but I think the truth is important".

Irish Independent

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