Sunday 18 August 2019

Woman 'dragged by taxi as she tried to enter it' settles €60k claim

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Simone Smith

A 64-year-old woman, who claimed she had been dragged along by a taxi as she tried to enter it, has settled a €60,000 damages claim in the circuit civil court for an undisclosed sum against the taxi driver.

Circuit court President, Mr Raymond Groarke heard Anne Barrett, of Connolly Road, Ballyphehane, Co. Cork, had been in Dublin for the day with her family when her son hailed down a taxi, driven by Michael Fitzsimons, of Dargle Road, Drumcondra, Dublin 9.

Roger Pope, counsel for Ms Barrett, told the court his client had attempted to enter into the back right hand side of the taxi, as her son sat into the passenger seat, and her daughter and granddaughter sat in the rear seats.

Ms Barrett said that as she placed one leg into the vehicle the taxi moved off causing her to fall to the ground and be dragged along with it.

She told the court she has significant mobility issues having suffered two strokes in the past and that the accident had aggravated previously existing issues with her back.

Mr Pope, who appeared with Martin A Harvey solicitors, said medical medical records had been agreed and they outlined Ms Barrett’s injuries to her elbow, hip and lower back. She had also been dazed and could not recall if she had banged her head.

A CT scan in Cork University Hospital revealed that Ms Barrett had not suffered any damages to her brain and X-rays showed she had not broken any bones.

Following the incident she had been helped off the ground by her family and Mr Fitzsimons. She said they all got back into the taxi and Mr Fitzsimons took them to where they collected a new car for her daughter.

She told Conor Kearney, who appeared with Delahunty and O’Connor solicitors for the defendant, that at the time she did not feel a need to confront Mr Fitzsimons as she was feeling stunned. Later, before they left Dublin, she and her family decided to report the incident at Santry Garda Station.

Mr Fitzsimons told Judge Groarke that he had not started to drive when he heard shouts of “Mammy’s fallen, Mammy’s fallen” coming from the backseat. He said this was when he had got out to help Ms Barrett off the ground.

Judge Groarke said he had difficulty believing that Ms Barrett would make up the incident and he accepts her account of what happened.

He said having heard evidence from Garda Stephen Emmett, who happened to be patrolling nearby and had seen Ms Barrett lying on the ground near the boot of the car, that he believed her account of having been dragged.

Having decided liability in favour of Ms Barrett, Judge Groarke suggested that the parties discuss the issue of damages. Shortly afterwards Mr Pope told the court the matter had been amicably resolved.

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