Motor bureau not liable over crash damages


A judge has ruled the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland cannot be liable for any damages that may be awarded to a man who suffered severe head injuries when the allegedly defective car he was test-driving, which passed the NCT months earlier, crashed into a lorry.

Padraig Donohoe was uninsured at the time of the incident in which his front-seat passenger, John Walsh, father of the car owner, died. Mr Donohoe suffered serious brain injuries and memory loss and is severely disabled.

In an action yet to be heard, Mr Donohoe (29), Coolree, Barntown, Co Wexford, suing through his father Thomas, alleged the car went out of control on the main road between Rosslare Harbour and Wexford on February 11th, 2006, and crashed into a lorry.

It is alleged there was no negligent driving by Mr Donohoe but that the front tyres were “dangerously perished” and the car had been certified roadworthy when it was not.

Mr Donohoe was alleged to be driving the car with the consent of Alan Walsh, Ballygillane Little, Rosslare Harbour, with a view to buying it. While Mr Walsh had insurance with Hibernian Aviva, it has claimed Mr Donohoe was not insured to drive the car and it is not involved.

Mr Donohoe sued Mr Walsh, the bureau and others. He alleged the bureau is liable for negligence and breach of duty by Mr Walsh as owner of an alleged unroadworthy car.