Sunday 19 November 2017

Nurse sues driver after egg thrower blinded her

Tim Healy

A MOTHER of three left blinded in one eye after she was 'egged' from a passing car is suing the driver.

The High Court heard Ann Doody had to have her left eye removed two years after an egg was thrown at her by a passenger in a car as she power-walked with friends near her home.

The 46-year-old nurse and midwife told the court she wishes it had never happened.

"I suddenly felt something in my left eye. There was horrific pain and blood. I knew I had to go to hospital," she said.

By the time she was taken to theatre in Dublin's Eye and Ear hospital, she knew her sight was gone. "I could not see anything," she said. "My left eye was ruptured. I had no pupil left. It looked awful. I was very self-conscious of it."

She had to have an operation to remove the damaged eye two years later and wears a false eye, but worries in case anything happens to the sight in her right eye.

The court was told that the egg thrower -- 17-year-old David Morgan -- who was a back-seat passenger in the car, screamed: "I hit her! I hit her!"

Mrs Doody, of Shankill, Co Dublin, has sued the car owner and driver, Niall Clarke, who was also 17 at the time of the incident on the Bray Road, Shankill, on March 26, 2008.

She claimed that Mr Clarke, of Foxes Grove, Shankill, was negligent in relation to the management and control of the vehicle.

Mr Clarke, who the court heard was sorry for the injury to Mrs Doody, claims a driver is not liable for the wrongful acts of his passenger.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told that Mr Clarke, as a juvenile, received a caution from gardai in relation to the incident, and his insurance company has refused to indemnify him in the matter.

Morgan, of the Green, Woodbrook Glen, Bray, Co Wicklow, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court four years ago to assault causing harm to Mrs Doody and apologised to her.

Compensation

He was also directed to pay €10,000 he had offered as compensation to her, but she turned it down and the money was donated to the Society of St Vincent de Paul and the Peter McVerry Trust.

Opening the case, David Nolan SC, for Mrs Doody, said egging is the equivalent of snowball-throwing.

Counsel said other members of the group, and not Mr Clarke, had bought 30 eggs in three cartons in a shop earlier in the evening.

Mr Clarke knew there were eggs, and he did not pull over and strongly rebuke his passengers to prevent a foreseeable act, counsel said.

The key issue in the case was not about the rules of the road, but about alleged personal negligence relating to the control and management of a car.

The court heard the car had been tracked down after a householder gave gardai the registration number. Officers later found there was only a handful of eggs left.

When interviewed by officers, Mr Clarke was surprised, as were all the car passengers, and they did not realise the severity of the incident.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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