Friday 20 September 2019

'I can't believe a word you have said' - accident-prone dad's claim struck out

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Gordon Deegan

A judge has thrown out a compensation claim by an accident-prone father of three after telling the man: "I just cannot believe a word you have said."

Judge Gerald Keys, sitting in Ennis Circuit Court, dismissed the claim by Edward 'Ned' McDonagh for alleged "life-changing" injuries from a 2009 'rear-ending' road traffic accident at John Paul Avenue, Cloughleigh, Ennis, Co Clare, involving Mr McDonagh's third cousin, Jim McDonagh.

The court heard Edward McDonagh (44) had been involved in 10 accidents going back to 1995.

Arising from the incident on March 28, 2009, Mr McDonagh claimed he had suffered whiplash, neck and back injuries and a ruptured cruciate in his left knee.

Mr McDonagh was a front-seat passenger in the car and told the court his knee hit the dashboard on impact with the car driven by his third cousin.

"My knee was all swelled out. It popped out and broke the cruciate. The dashboard was low and I am tall with long legs. That is my problem," he said.

The court heard Mr McDonagh has received compensation totalling €30,380 from four other claims.

Mr McDonagh, of Tuam Road halting site, Galway, said he suffered "life-changing" injuries in the rear-ending.

"I am embarrassed to say it, but I need help going into the shower because of the accident," he said, adding he wears a bandage every day "to give some bit of stability".

He blamed HSE waiting lists for not getting any physiotherapy on his knee over the past nine years.

Mr McDonagh also claimed the injuries worsened his depression, which was only slight before the rear-ending.

"The depression leads back to the injury because I couldn't pick up my child for fear that I would slip and my knee would pop out. My GP has been very worried about me because my depression has increased because I couldn't go to a gym which was a great hobby of mine. I used to go to the gym and play sports with the kids. Now I am wearing a knee brace every day," he added.

Under cross-examination by Emmett O'Brien BL for Jim McDonagh, Edward McDonagh denied he was lying, saying: "I'm a God-fearing man. I wouldn't tell lies."

The court heard Edward McDonagh and Jim McDonagh were on opposite sides in a family feud at the time of the incident - a claim denied by Edward McDonagh.

Mr O'Brien said whatever injury Edward McDonagh sustained was as a result of an altercation with other McDonaghs that day and not as a result of any rear-ending.

Dismissing his claim, Judge Keys told Mr McDonagh: "I just cannot believe a word you have said."

"Mr McDonagh has done nothing in nine years to minimise his loss and he has received no treatment over the nine years," he added.

"There are now statutory provisions where if someone comes to this court and takes the oath and gives evidence which is wholly untrue that the penalty is that I am entitled to strike out the case and this case falls well within that category and I am striking out the claim."

Irish Independent

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