Monday 19 August 2019

Man awarded €64,000 after bicycle accident on repaired road

The High Court, Dublin
The High Court, Dublin

Tim Healy

A man who suffered a serious back injury, when his bicycle slipped on a road where excessive bitumen sealant had been used in repair work, has been awarded €64,000 by the High Court.

Ms Justice Bronagh O'Hanlon said it was clear Joseph Kearney (47) suffered severe pain and a loss of the amenities of life to a significant degree as a result of the accident at Ballinaraha, Kilsheelan, Cloneml, Co Tipperary, on St Stephen's Day 2011.

He was also in extreme pain for nine months and had fairly significant pain and suffering for two years, she said

Mr Kearney, Portlaw, Co Waterford had sued Tipperary County Council which is responsible for the upkeep of the road.  He also sued  Roadstone Wood Ltd with offices at Tallaght, Dublin, which carried out work on the road.

Finding both the council and Roadstone Wood liable, the judge said it seemed to the court they accepted evidence put forward on behalf of Mr Kearney that there was faulty workmanship in terms of the original work on the road and the  repair.

A similar incident had occurred elsewhere on the road which had been witnessed by a person who gave evidence in this case, the judge said.

Roadstone Wood carried out the remedial works and did so without ensuring it was done to the correct standard in line with the correct specifications, she said.

Ms Justice O'Hanlon said the council was also negligent because it could have been reasonably foreseen that such patching negligently done, in breach of the regulations, would cause an accident. The council was well aware there had been a similar accident on the road, she said.

The court heard about 17 people were cycling two abreast on the hard shoulder, including Mr Kearney who was wearing a helmet. As he approached a curve on the road, he was caused to slip and fall from his bike suddenly and without warning.

The judge said Mr Kearney had given his evidence carefully and honestly and did not exaggerate his situation.

It was quite clear  and there was no real dispute between the engineers in the case that the bitumen sealant was not in accordance with the National Roads Authority specifications.

It was the duty of both the local authority and Roadstone to ensure the contract was fulfilled in line with the specifications, she said.

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