Cyclist who collided with a passenger exiting a bus awarded €15k in damages
A 38-year-old cyclist, who collided with a bus passenger exiting a bus, has been awarded €15,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court.
Judge Karen Fergus said Tracy Maher was, on January 31, 2014, cycling on a dedicated cycle lane on Swords Road in Co Dublin when the accident happened.
Judge Fergus said Ms Maher did not recall the bus overtaking her but had seen people waiting in the bus shelter. The passenger had stepped off onto the pavement ahead of her.
In a reserved judgment the judge told barrister Ivan Daly, counsel for Maher, that his client did not have time to stop her bicycle. She had swerved to try to avoid the passenger and had fallen off her bike.
Maher, an accounts manager with an address at Fernwood Avenue, Springfield, Tallaght, Dublin, said she suffered a fracture in her hand and had needed to wear a cast for several weeks.
She sued Dublin Bus and Fingal County Council, claiming the cycle lane should have had a clear sign for cyclists to yield at the bus stop.
Mr Daly, who appeared with Spelman Callaghan Solicitors, said it was Ms Maher’s case that the bus driver should have looked more carefully in his rear mirror before allowing the passenger exit the bus.
Gerard O’Herlihy, solicitor for Dublin Bus, told the court the bus company denied liability and alleged Fingal County Council had been negligent in its maintenance of the cycle lane which did not have a clear direction for cyclists to yield.
Barrister Barney Quirke, for Fingal County Council, said the local authority denied it was liable and claimed there was a sign warning cyclists they had to yield to pedestrians.
Judge Fergus, who dismissed the claim against Fingal County Council, said the cycle lane was far from ideal and a yield sign on the ground was difficult to see. She found Dublin Bus negligent in that the driver had not seen Ms Maher.
“If the bus driver did not see Ms Maher, and it is manifestly clear that she was there as evidenced by the CCTV footage, then the only conclusion that can be drawn is that he did not look in his mirror properly or at all before opening the doors,” Judge Fergus said.
The judge said Ms Maher should have been aware of the possibility of someone getting off the bus. She awarded her €20,000 damages but reduced the award to €15,000 on the grounds of her contributory negligence