Friday 23 March 2018

Pedestrian sued cyclist over injuries suffered when he was knocked down by bike on footpath

The High Court in Dublin (Stock image)
The High Court in Dublin (Stock image)

Tim Healy

A pedestrian who sued a teenage cyclist over injuries suffered when he was knocked down by the boy's bike on a footpath in Raheny, Dublin, has conditionally settled his High Court action.

While details of the agreement between the sides were not disclosed, it is understood it involves a financial payment.

Niall Buckley, who was aged 66 when the accident happened outside his daughter's home at Sybil Hill Road, Raheny, about 6pm on November 3rd 2013, suffered a hip fracture.

A gas engineer of Santry Close, Santry, he sued Thomas McGovern, a student of Vernon Rise, Clontarf, over the accident which happened when Mr McGovern was aged 17. Now aged 20 and pursuing a music degree, the young man represented himself in the case.

After talks on Friday, Ms Justice Bronagh O'Hanlon was told by Philip Sheahan SC, for Mr Buckley, an agreement had been reached in the case which was "fortunate for all involved".

Welcoming that development, she agreed to counsel's request to adjourn the case for mention in two weeks time to allow for implementation of the agreement.

The court heard, if the monies were paid over by then, the case would settle.

In his claim, Mr Buckley alleged Mr McGovern was cycling too fast and had no lights on his bike when it collided with him, knocking him backwards, and both the bike and cyclist fell on top of him.

He claimed he was walking out of his sister's home and had looked left and right before stepping onto the footpath when the bike collided with him, knocking him to the ground, as a result of which he suffered personal injuries.

After the accident, Mr Buckley was taken by ambulance to Beaumont Hospital where x-rays confirmed he had fractured his ischium, a hip bone. He was treated conservatively and was no weight-bearing for three months, it was claimed.

After reviews in 2014, it was concluded he had suffered a serious hip injury. It was claimed, while he has slowly recovered, he is likely to have ongoing pain into the future and had been advised he may need a hip replacement.

In his defence, Mr McGovern, denied he cycled negligently or too fast on the footpath in disregard of the lawful presence of Mr Buckley or that the injuries were caused solely by his alleged negligence and/or breach of duty.

He pleaded Mr Buckley failed, in how he exited the home of his daughter, to have regard for his own safety and the presence of others, including children, in an area "of high recreational use and student activity".

Mr Buckley's daughter's home is one of just two residential properties on the 1,200 metre long Sybil Hill Road and both houses are adjacent to St Anne's Park, a major public recreational park, St Paul's College, a large secondary college, and the footpath is regularly used by pedestrians ands cyclists, he pleaded.

He also pleaded Mr Buckley gave no opportunity for others to avoid him, that he had offered every assistance to Mr Buckley and that the plaintiff's medical history before the accident could be a contributory factor to the injury.

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