Wednesday 21 February 2018

Man struck by Luas settles damages action for €650,000

Derek Cross: suffered a traumatic brain injury
Derek Cross: suffered a traumatic brain injury

Tim Healy

A MAN who sustained serious injuries when he was struck by a tram as he crossed a Luas line has settled his damages action for €650,000.

Derek Cross (52) suffered a traumatic brain injury and multiple rib fractures as well as damage to the left side of his body when he was hit on the left side by a Luas tram travelling between Kylemore and the Red Cow stop on the red line five years ago.

He now walks with a crutch and is unable to work.

The High Court heard that Mr Cross, who had been drinking, had a very high level of alcohol in his blood when he crossed the tracks at the Red Cow Hotel on his way to get a taxi home in the early hours of September 15, 2007.

Mr Cross, a painter and decorator from Old Church Close, Nangor Road, Clondalkin, had sued South Dublin County Council, and the operators of the Luas tram line -- the Railway Procurement Agency, Veolia Transport and Connex Transport -- as a result of the accident.

He claimed the defendants had failed to design, construct or provide a safe layout of Luas line or track with appropriate signage and safe access for pedestrians.

He further claimed that they failed to take reasonable steps or precautions for Mr Cross, who was lawfully crossing the line and as a result he was allegedly exposed to a risk of damage or injury.

The claims were denied by the defendants, who alleged contributory negligence on Mr Cross's behalf due to the amount of drink he had consumed on the night.

Approving the settlement, Ms Justice Mary Irvine said it was an exceptionally good offer in settlement of the case.

Alcohol

If the case went to trial there was a risk of losing, as the court would be looking at an emergency situation and a person who had consumed a significant amount of alcohol.

The judge said we have to take into account the reality of everyday life for a Luas driver, and to expect them to apply the emergency brakes every time they see someone on the line would create more accidents.

Irish Independent

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