A man who was knocked off his bicycle by a car has been awarded just over €96,000 by the High Court.
Alan Massey (48), a pharmaceutical process operator, of Clonshaugh Heights, Clonshaugh, Dublin, sued the driver of the car through her insurance company, Axa, over the accident on Beaumont Road, Dublin, on August 16th, 2019.
Liability was admitted and the case came before Mr Justice Micheál O’Higgins for assessment of damages.
The court heard Mr Massey suffered injuries to his shoulder and wrist as well as soft tissue injuries to his chest, knee and ankle and was off work for five months.
The judge was satisfied the appropriate award was €96,920.
An application for a stay on the award pending an appeal was opposed by his counsel, David McGrath SC, instructed by Niall McCarthy of Gaffney Halligan solicitors.
Mr McGrath said that if there was to be a stay it should be based on a significant payout, which he suggested should be €83,170. There was no issue as to dissipation of the money between now and an appeal because his client is working.
Elaine Morgan SC, for the defendant, said her client would be seeking to appeal on grounds of proportionality and how the injuries had affected Mr Massey.
She said any payout pending appeal should be €30,000. She also said an offer had been made to the plaintiff to settle the case before it was heard, but this had been beaten by the award. That could change depending on the outcome of the appeal, she said.
Mr Justice O’Higgins said he was prepared to grant a stay on the award, and on the costs awarded to Mr Massey, based on a payout of €50,000.
Earlier, the judge accepted that Mr Massey, who he described as a credible witness, was seriously incapacitated during the five months after the accident.
He said his job involved having to load heavy drums of tablets into large machines.
With the assistance of colleagues, he could avoid heavy lifting duties and focus on the paperwork side of things. However, were his employment circumstances to change, this state of affairs could change, he said.
The shoulder injury also affected his sleep and it sometimes means he starts the day in pain if he has slept on his injured right side, he said.
He accepted that before the accident Mr Massey used to go to the gym regularly, but this is no longer the case. He used to be a very keen cyclist and regularly cycled long distances as a hobby and while he has returned to cycling, it is on a much reduced basis.
The judge said to his mind this represented a significant loss of amenity and affects his wellbeing and enjoyment of life.