Sunday 25 February 2018

Clamper left brain damaged after hammer attack awarded €2m

Gheorghe Pista (left) at a previous court hearing
Gheorghe Pista (left) at a previous court hearing Newsdesk Newsdesk

A clamper who has been left brain damaged after he was attacked with a hammer when he clamped a car in a Dublin city car park has settled his High Court action for €2million.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross said it was appalling and disgraceful what happened Gheorghe Pista as he went about his job eight years ago.

“He was viciously assaulted while going about his job and has been left severely brain damaged. It is appalling and disgraceful,” the judge said

Mr Pista whose skull was fractured has been left only able to verbalise a few words, can walk with difficulty and needs 24 hour care.

In the High Court yesterday 44-year old Gheorghe Pista who is from Romania sued his employer Nationwide Controlled Parking Systems Ltd  with offices at Mount Street Crescent, Dublin as a result of the attack carried out on him by Gerard Sweeney on November 14, 2009 in a car park at Werburgh Street, Dublin.

Sweeney (25), with addresses at St Mark's Avenue and High Grove, Mount Talbot, both in Clondalkin, Dublin in 2011, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Mr Pista on that date and was sentenced to ten years imprisonment with the final three suspended.

Mr Pista  was clamping Gerard Sweeney's girlfriend's car when Sweeney approached him shouting and swearing that he was not going to pay the fine. Mr Sweeney the criminal court heard went to the boot of the car, took out a lump hammer, came back to the front of the vehicle where Mr Pista was and struck him on the left side of his head knocking him to the ground.

Mr Pista sustained a fractured skull and later had to have a metal plate inserted. He was in a coma for seven weeks and has been left profoundly disabled.

In the High Court Mr Pista who sued through his sister Elena Pista claimed the assault was carried out in circumstances whereby Mr Pista was allegedly instructed by his employer not to remove clamping  devices without first receiving payment regardless of threats to his  personal safety.

He further claimed he had been allegedly exposed to a risk of injury and he claimed his employer had been negligent by allegedly directing him to enforce parking regulations in that car park during night hours, when they knew or ought to have known it was unsafe and dangerous to do so and by allegedly instructing Mr Pista to refuse to remove clamps from vehicles even when under threat of physical violence and allegedly instructing  him to seek authorisation from management prior to releasing any clamp free of charge.

The claims were denied.

The court heard that judgment had been obtained against Gerard Sweeney in the High Court on an earlier date.

Counsel for Mr Pisto Eoin McGonigal SC  said Mr Pisto has improved and can now make a cup of coffee and dress himself.

Approving the settlement Mr Justice Cross said Mr Pista hasbeen been very well looked after by his sister and he wished him well for the future.

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