Saturday 23 March 2019

Man who fell off bike after ‘enthusiastically celebrating’ Paddy’s Day awarded €20,000 in damages

Ray Managh

A FORMER security man, who fell off a bike after "enthusiastically" celebrating St Patrick’s Day and was hit by a car as he stumbled to his feet, has been awarded more than €20,000 damages.

Christopher O’Brien (33) readily admitted having a fair bit of alcohol on board when he borrowed a neighbour’s bike to cycle home from a party in the early hours of March 18, 2011, barrister Ivan Daly told the Circuit Civil Court today.

Mr Daly said Mr O’Brien had lost control of the bicycle and had fallen on to the roadway.

He had tried to get up and had fallen again. As he attempted to get to his feet a second time he had been hit by a passing motorist who failed to stop.

He told Judge Matthew Deery that O’Brien, of Balbutcher Lane, Ballymun, Dublin, had enthusiastically celebrated St Patrick’s Day at a party in his brother’s house. He had taken a bicycle from next door and had set off after 3am to go home.

Mr Daly said Mr O’Brien had fallen off the bike in Balbutcher Road. He had stumbled and fell a second time before being hit by the passing car.

O’Brien told the court he may have hit a kerb with the bicycle wheel. The car had hit him on his left side, injuring his kidney.

Blood had been found in his urine after he had been taken to the Mater Hospital.

Judge Deery awarded O’Brien €20,336 damages but said, because of the situation he had put himself in at the time he would deduct 30 per cent for contributory negligence, reducing the amount to €14,235.

He said Mr O’Brien had admitted to having drunk 10 Budweisers and there may well have been more. He had been on his hands and knees when the car had struck him.

Judge Deery said CCTV footage of the incident was unhelpful but he accepted that the serious kidney injury suggested he had not just simply fallen off the bicycle.

“Mr O’Brien, in electing to cycle home at that time of the morning and having consumed so much alcohol had put himself in the way of injury,” Judge Deery said.

He had stumbled again and at that stage the car that had struck him would have had some opportunity of seeing him on the roadway. He had suffered a serious kidney trauma and had been in hospital for five days.

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