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I can't taste food since truck wing mirror struck me

A STUDENT claims he suffered a brain injury when his head was clipped by the mirror of a truck as he stood at pedestrian traffic lights.

Ciaran Chestnutt (25) told the High Court that since the accident in 2007, his memory is hopeless and he can't smell or taste.

All food tastes "like wet cardboard", he said. "I definitely miss it. Going out for a meal is one of life's great treats. I don't cook for myself. What is the point?"


Mr Chestnutt of Redford Park, Greystones, Co Wicklow, has sued the driver of the truck, Michael Coyne, and Waterford City Council which employed him and owned the vehicle.

It is claimed that Mr Chestnut was standing at pedestrian lights on Paddy Brown's Road, Waterford, on October 26, 2007, when he was hit by the truck and as a result suffered severe personal injuries, loss and damage.

The defendants deny negligence and claim Mr Chestnutt was the author of his own misfortune and had walked or run in towards the back of the truck.

Opening the case, Mr Chestnutt's counsel John Fitzgerald said the student suffered severe head injuries including a brain injury.

He was struck on the right side of the face by the mirror on the nearside of the truck, knocking him unconscious. Counsel said as a result of his injuries, Mr Chestnutt will not be able to reach the level of career and employment he should have reached if he was not injured.

Mr Chestnutt told the court he was studying architectural technology at the Waterford Institute of Technology at the time of the accident.

He was on his way to photograph a building for an assignment. He only has glimpses of memory of the time just before the accident, including getting a bus to where it happened.


He was left with a scar on his forehead and a permanent black spot in the vision of his right eye and he cannot smell or taste.

His memory is hopeless and his concentration is very bad. He said he lost a year of college as a result of the accident but graduated from that course in 2008 and is now studying architecture.

"It is going to be a struggle to qualify. It is all I want to do. I have to constantly restudy.

"If I get a job, I am afraid of the reaction of my boss and clients. I have forgotten a lot of what I have learned on the last course," he said.

The case continues.