Friday 15 December 2017

Catering assistant loses claim against Dublin Bus for back injury

Ray Managh

A 48-year-old ward catering assistant at St James’s Hospital, Dublin, has lost a €38,000 damages claim for personal injury against Dublin Bus.

Ms Belinda Carroll, Cushlawn Park, Tallaght, Dublin, was also told by Judge Jacqueline Linnane she would be responsible for legal costs of a litigation which related to an accident which occurred in December 2004.

Gerard Herlihy, solicitor for Dublin Bus, told the Circuit Civil Court that Carroll, who alleged she hurt her lower back in a fall on a bus, had been dishonest with the court by reason of omission.

He said that nowhere in the eight-year-long proceedings had she stated she had been working four days a week from 7:30 a.m. to six o’clock in the evening since 2006.

Ms Carroll told the court she still suffered as a result of the fall which had happened as she was boarding a bus in Cork Street, Dublin. She claimed the floor had been wet and she had fallen on her bottom when the bus jerked suddenly.

She said one of her three sons had broken his neck in an accident in Australia and St Vincent de Paul had paid for an emergency flight to get her out to be by his side at the time.

She remembered starting work in St James’s on August 10, 2006, the day after she had returned from Australia. Prior that she had been doing some part time work but had not made any statements about her employment because she had not been asked by anyone.

Ms Carroll agreed that her injury was “an acute trauma to an already degenerative area of her back.” She had a “niggly” back since she was a 14-year-old and had been treated in hospital for it as a teenager.

Judge Linnane said that in documentation relating to her claim there had been allegations of a wet floor with a pool of water on the bus and allegations that the bus had suddenly taken off and also that it had braked violently.

“I am not satisfied that the plaintiff has established that she was caused to fall by any negligence on the part of Dublin Bus,” the judge said.

She said she could not exclude Ms Carroll from appealing, but noted Dublin Bus stated it would not pursue the issue of costs against her if there was no appeal to the High Court.

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