Wednesday 23 October 2019

Judge dismisses man's €60k claim that high heels were to blame for sister's car crash

Judge dismissed the claim
Judge dismissed the claim
'Mr Kearney questioned Mr O'Brien about the three accidents he had failed to disclose, one of which involved his mother in 2009 in which she, as the driver, had blamed one of her high heels having become trapped under a mat for causing that rear-ending accident' (stock photo)

Ray Managh

First his mother's high heels and then, six years later, his sister's high heels contributed to rear-ending accidents that resulted in injuries to their son and brother, a court has been told.

John O'Brien Jnr, of Ballyogan Drive, Carrickmines, Dublin, alleged in a €60,000 damages claim against his sister Stephanie O'Brien, of Old Church Crescent, Clondalkin, Dublin, and her insurer AXA that he injured his right arm and back when her car rear-ended another at Ballinteer Roundabout.

When cross-examined by barrister Conor Kearney, counsel for AXA and his sister, Mr O'Brien told the Circuit Civil Court he had been involved in a previous accident in 2011 but failed - as outlined by Mr Kearney - to disclose three other accidents for which he had received compensation.

In the accident on February 13, 2015, in Ballinteer involving his sister's car, the defendant Ms O'Brien told Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke that she had been wearing high-heel shoes.

Her foot had slipped off the pedal, causing her to rear-end another car.

Mr Kearney questioned Mr O'Brien about the three accidents he had failed to disclose, one of which involved his mother in 2009 in which she, as the driver, had blamed one of her high heels having become trapped under a mat for causing that rear-ending accident.

The court heard there were five occupants in Ms O'Brien's car at Ballinteer roundabout on February 13, 2015.

All of them had made personal injury claims, although occupants of the car that had been rear-ended had not made any personal injury claims.

At the end of the evidence given by O'Brien and his sister, Mr Kearney, who appeared with Delahunty O'Connor Solicitors for AXA, applied to have Mr O'Brien's claim dismissed on the basis that he had mislead the court.

Mislead

Judge Groarke said Mr O'Brien had purposely sought to mislead both the court and the defence.

He had claimed to have "an appalling bad memory" with regard to his claims history.

"I don't believe him for a minute," Judge Groarke added.

The judge said Mr O'Brien had a duty and obligation to be truthful.

He saw no injustice in dismissing his claim and awarding costs against him in favour of the defence.

Irish Independent

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