Sunday 22 September 2019

Driver who had 10 car crashes loses claim for injuries

'If you get hurted, you get hurted': Gerry McDonagh has received €40,700 in compensation payments over the years
'If you get hurted, you get hurted': Gerry McDonagh has received €40,700 in compensation payments over the years

Gordon Deegan

An accident-prone Limerick man has told a court: "My body is destroyed from people driving into me."

At Ennis Circuit Court in Co Clare, Gerry McDonagh said: "I don't go around claiming off people for nothing. If you get hurted, you get hurted."

Mr McDonagh was giving evidence concerning his latest claim for alleged injuries, in a road traffic accident in 2012 against a then 19-year-old woman driver, that was dismissed by Judge Gerald Keys.

Judge Keys dismissed Mr McDonagh's claim after finding the threshold has not been reached that the driver of the other car, Niamh Kitson, was in any way negligent in causing the accident at the entrance to a petrol station on Ennis's Lahinch Road on August 10, 2012.

The court heard evidence the crash was one of 10 road traffic accidents Mr McDonagh has been involved in - including six since 2012.

In relation to four separate successful compensation claims, Mr McDonagh, of Fanningstown, Fedamore, Co Limerick, has received combined compensation awards of €40,700 concerning two of the road traffic accidents; one trip and fall in 2008 and another where he fell down the stairs of his local authority house in Limerick 25 years ago.

Counsel for Ms Kitson, Siobhán Gallagher BL, told the court the August 2012 crash in Ennis followed Mr McDonagh being involved in a road traffic accident in July 2012, and a third crash in May 2012.

Ms Gallagher said that Mr McDonagh has also been involved in further road traffic accidents in October 2015, November 2016 and June 2017.

Ms Gallagher said Mr McDonagh had also been involved in a number of falls - she said he had fallen six feet off a ladder in May 2013 and had another fall in August 2013.

"There was an incident with a gentlemen on a water-slide who fell down on top of you and you sustained injuries."

Mr McDonagh replied: "I didn't put in claims."

He said his first accident was in a corporation house in Limerick and told Ms Gallagher he received €14,000.

Mr McDonagh said that 35 years ago, he had been knocked off his motorbike. "I never got any money out of that - my mother did. I never got anything," he said.

In 2001, Mr McDonagh received €5,000 from a road traffic accident and a further €11,000 from Limerick County Council as a result of back injuries sustained after a trip and fall in 2007.

Ms Gallagher said that Mr McDonagh received a further €10,700 from a road traffic accident in 2008.

Pressed by Ms Gallagher as to whether there were any other accidents between 2008 and 2012, Mr McDonagh said: "It's like being in school with a teacher giving out to me."

In her evidence, Ms Kitson said Mr McDonagh drove into her stationary car. She added that damage to her car was minimal and she did not carry out repairs.

Dismissing the claim, Judge Keys granted costs against Mr McDonagh but put a stay on the costs in the event of an appeal.

Irish Independent

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