A €60,000 damages claim by a Dublin woman, who said she was injured after being forced to slam on her brakes on the M50 to avoid a collision, has been thrown out by a judge who told her “no collision, no claim”.
In one of the most unusual cases to come before the Circuit Civil Court, Judge James O’Donohoe was told there was no impact between either party’s car.
Barrister Raymond Delahunt told the court that Deborah Poole, a 49-year-old hairdresser from Railway Road, Clongriffin, Dublin, had taken the claim against his client, Nichola Ann O’Mahony, of Moylaragh Court, Balbriggan, Co Dublin.
He said the only alleged grounds for Ms Poole’s case was that she had suffered a neck injury as a result of being forced to perform what she claimed was a violent braking manoeuvre to avoid a collision with Ms O’Mahony’s vehicle.
Mr Delahunt, who appeared with Kelly Grant of Pembroke Solicitors for Ms O’Mahony and AIG Insurers, said there was no collision between the two cars. He said that in his 29 years at the Bar he had never come across a case where someone had sued for damages for personal injuries in a “no collision road traffic accident”.
Judge O’Donohoe had earlier heard the case earlier but he adjourned it and asked both legal teams to carry out detailed research as to whether or not there was any legal justification in law for such a claim.
He had heard that Ms O’Mahony’s car collided with another vehicle on the M50 in March 2018. Ms Poole alleged she was forced to violently slam on the brakes of her own car to avoid hitting Ms O’Mahony who, she alleged, had veered into her lane after striking the other car.
Ms Poole said she was following O’Mahony’s car prior to it crashing in front of her and, through her sudden braking manoeuvre, had suffered a neck injury.
When Mr Delahunt told the court he was unable to identify any Irish case law whereby a plaintiff had successfully demonstrated they were entitled to damages where no collision occurred, Judge O’Donohoe said Ms O’Mahony had no case to answer and struck out Ms Poole’s claim. He ordered Ms Poole to pay Ms O’Mahony’s legal costs.