Sunday 17 December 2017

Man loses €120k damages claim against elderly woman and priest (85) after alleged car 'tip'

'This is one of the reasons why people have to pay higher premiums for their car insurance'

Razvan Marcu, with an address at Meadow Grove, Lucan, Co Dublin, pictured leaving the Four Courts after his two Civil Court actions for damages were dismissed. Photo: Collins courts
Razvan Marcu, with an address at Meadow Grove, Lucan, Co Dublin, pictured leaving the Four Courts after his two Civil Court actions for damages were dismissed. Photo: Collins courts

Ray Managh

"Look what you f**king done to my car you f**king b***h," Razvan Marcu shouted and roared at an 85-year-old woman after her car "tipped" his, a court has heard.

"He was very abusive and I was afraid," Ms Bridget O’Byrne told the Circuit Civil Court as she identified Marcu at the back of the court. "I didn’t collide with his car," she added.

Father Bernard Halpin, pictured leaving the Four Courts after giving evidence in a Civil Court action taken by Razvan Marcu, of Meadow Grove, Lucan, Co Dublin. Photo: Collins courts
Father Bernard Halpin, pictured leaving the Four Courts after giving evidence in a Civil Court action taken by Razvan Marcu, of Meadow Grove, Lucan, Co Dublin. Photo: Collins courts

Judge Jacqueline Linnane was also told that when Marcu’s car had “tipped” a priest’s car in a second minor incident only three days earlier, Marcu had told the cleric:  “You shouldn’t be on the road because of your age.”

Marcu, who will be 28 tomorrow and who lives at Meadow Grove, Lucan, Co Dublin, was seeking a total of €120,000 damages against Ms Bridget O’Byrne and Father Bernard Halpin.

After Judge Linnane threw out both his claims Marcu walked from court with nothing other than the judge’s direction that he pay Ms O’Byrne’s and Fr Halpin’s legal costs totalling in the region of €25,000.

Judge Linnane told barrister Conor Kearney, counsel for Fr Halpin and the Provincial of the Oblates of Mary and their insurers Allianz, that she considered both incidents to be minor “tips” and found Marcu not to be a credible witness.

Mr Kearney, who appeared with Dillon Eustace Solicitors, had asked Judge Linnane to dismiss Marcu’s claim against his clients on the basis he had grossly exaggerated his injuries.

Marcu had told the court that as a result of both accidents which occurred in June 2013, he had been left with an injured lower back and still had to take pain killers today to handle the pain.

Barrister Neal McDonald, counsel for Ms O’Byrne, of Main Road, Tallaght, Dublin, also asked for the claim against his client to be dismissed.

Mr McDonald, who appeared with Liz Lyons of Hayes McGrath solicitors for Ms O’Byrne and Royal Sun Alliance (RSA) Insurance , told Judge Linnane that Ms O’Byrne had not even been aware of having hit anyone on June 9, 2013 near the Bray exit on the M11.

Bridget O’Byrne, pictured leaving the Four Courts after giving evidence in a Civil Court action taken by Razvan Marcu, of Meadow Grove, Lucan, Co Dublin. Photo: Collins courts
Bridget O’Byrne, pictured leaving the Four Courts after giving evidence in a Civil Court action taken by Razvan Marcu, of Meadow Grove, Lucan, Co Dublin. Photo: Collins courts

Ms O’Byrne said she did not know about anything until “this man had got out of his car shouting and roaring.”

Marcu sued Fr Halpin, of Bulfin Road, Inchicore, Dublin 8 and his Order for €60,000. He alleged the accident happened at Tyrconnell Road, Inchicore, on June 6, 2013 and had been caused by Fr Halpin’s careless and negligent driving.

He alleged in both claims that he had to be treated for lower back pain and pains that would shoot down his left leg to his knee.

Judge Linnane said Mr Marcu claimed his back was still giving him “an awful lot of trouble” and was still taking pain killers daily.  In relation to a third accident he had withdrawn a claim at Trim Circuit Court in May 2013, only a month before the June incidents. 

“It is relevant to note that medical examination reports regarding the Trim claim, although issued after the two June incidents, made no reference to the accidents in June,” the judge said.

Judge Linnane said that in relation to the June 2013 claims by Marcu she was quite satisfied they were minor tips.  “I do not accept his claim that his back was seriously injured in either of those incidents, indeed I wonder if he suffered any injury at all,” she said.

The judge said Marcu had clearly exaggerated his injuries to a great extent.  There was a very strong duty on claimants to give full disclosure regarding all matters and she was satisfied Marcu had not done so even though he had signed forms saying his information was true and accurate.

Judge Linnane said she did not find Marcu a very credible witness and she considered it strange that he had gone to “so many different solicitors” regarding his claims.

“This is one of the reasons why people have to pay higher premiums for their car insurance,” the judge told Marcu as he left the court.

Online Editors

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