Woman partially blinded in egg throwing incident seeks damages

Court told teenager threw egg from back seat of car and screamed ‘I hit her, I hit her’

Ann Doody, of Rathmichael, Shankill, Co. Dublin, pictured leaving court today after the opening day of her High Court action for damages. Photograph: Collins Courts.

Ann Doody, of Rathmichael, Shankill, Co. Dublin, pictured leaving court today after the opening day of her High Court action for damages. Photograph: Collins Courts.

Thu, Oct 31, 2013, 17:56

A woman who is blind in one eye after an incident in which an egg was thrown at her by a passenger in a passing car has sued the driver for damages in the High Court.

Ann Doody (46), a midwife and mother of three, had her eyeball removed two years after the incident which occurred when she was out walking with friends near her home in Shankill, Co Dublin.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told the egg was thrown by then 17-year-old David Morgan, a back seat passenger in the car, who had screamed: “I hit her, I hit her.”

Ms Doody has sued Niall Clarke, Foxes Grove, Shankill, over the incident which occurred on the Bray Road on March 26th, 2008.

She claims Mr Clarke, as the driver and registered owner of the car from which the egg was thrown from a back window by a passenger, was negligent in relation to the management and control of the vehicle.

Mr Clarke, the court was told, is sorry for the injury to Mrs Doody but denies that, as driver, he is liable for the wrongful acts of his passenger.

Mr Justice Cross was told Mr Clarke, also 17 in 2008, received a caution from gardai in relation to the incident and his insurance company has refused to indemnify him in the matter.

David Morgan, The Green, Woodbrook Glen, Bray, Co Wicklow pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in 2009 to assault causing harm to Ms Doody and he apologised to her. Morgan was directed to pay €10,000 offered as compensation, but rejected by Ms Doody, to the Society of St Vincent de Paul and Peter McVerry Trust.

In evidence, Ms Doody said that when the incident happened, she “suddenly felt something in my left eye”.

“There was horrific pain and blood. I knew I had to go to hospital,” she said. By the time she was taken to theatre at the Eye and Ear Hospital, she knew her sight was gone, she added.

“I could not see anything,” she said. She said her left eye was ruptured with no pupil left. “It looked awful. I was very self conscious of it.”

She had an operation to remove the damaged eye two years later and now wears a false eye but worries in case anything happens to the sight in her right eye, the court heard.

Earlier, opening the case, David Nolan SC, for Ms Doody, said “egging” was the equivalent of snowball throwing.

Counsel said other members of the group, not Mr Clarke, bought 30 eggs in three cartons in a shop earlier in the evening. Mr Clarke knew there were eggs and he did not pull over and strongly rebuke his passengers to prevent a forseesable act, counsel said.

The key issue was not about the rules of the road but alleged personal negligence relating to the control and management of a car, counsel said.

Detective Garda David Jones said the car was tracked down after a householder gave gardai a registration number after eggs were thrown at a house by youths. At the end of the night, there was only a handful of eggs left from the thirty, he said.

When interviewed about the incident, Mr Clarke and all the passengers were surprised and did not realise the severity of the incicent, the witness added.

The case continues.