Friday 18 October 2019

Two women who suffered 'minor' injuries after bus 'wobbled' over half open manhole awarded €13k

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Stock image

Ray Managh

Two Dublin women were told by a judge Tuesday that they had pushed the boat out far too hard with regard to injuries they suffered when a bus “wobbled” as it crossed a half open manhole.

Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke told Jennifer Byrne (36) and her friend, Michelle Dwyer, who will be 31 tomorrow Wednesday, that there had been no negligence on the part of Dublin Bus but said they were entitled to recover damages from South Dublin County Council.

Judge Groarke told Dublin Bus solicitor Gerard O’Herlihy that a manhole cover had not been properly replaced following street works and this, in all probability, had been responsible for the injuries to the two women.

Ms Byrne, of The Grove, Belgard Heights, Tallaght, Dublin 24 and Ms Dwyer, of Raheen Close, Tallaght, had each sued Dublin Bus and South Dublin County Council for damages of up to €60,000 in each case for personal injuries they suffered when the bus hit the open manhole.

Both told the court that on 25 July, 2013, they were passengers on the 56A when it hit the manhole on Cookstown road, near Springfield, West Dublin.  They said the bus lifted them up off their seats and they received whiplash injuries which had lasted up until their very recent recovery.

Mr O’Herlihy had closely cross-examined both women on the extent of the injuries they claimed to have suffered in what, on CCTV, appeared to have been a very minor mishap.  The court heard that the rear wheel and wheel arch on the bus had been damaged in the incident and both had to continue their journey on another bus.

Judge Groarke, dismissing the case against Dublin Bus with an order over for costs against South Dublin County Council who he held responsible for the incident, awarded Byrne €5,836 and Dwyer €7,915.

He said that on the balance of probability the accident had been caused by the fact that the manhole had not been replaced properly. 

He felt the medical evidence for both plaintiffs had been confusing in that they were still complaining five-and-a-half years later while having received little or no treatment.

He said both were intelligent ladies but he was entirely unimpressed because their injuries were relatively minor.  They were pushing the boat out far too hard in relation to their injuries.

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