Legal bill for €22,500 crash damages claim ‘to exceed €100,000’
Tanya Ryan’s car ‘tipped’ by untraced driver on foggy M50 before going into spin, court told
Tanya Ryan (32) of Canterbrook, Trim Road, Navan, Co Meath, pictured leaving the Four Courts. Photograph: Collins Courts.
The legal costs arising from a personal injury case in which a motorist was awarded damages of €22,500 over a pile-up on the M50 motorway in Dublin are expected to exceed €100,000.
Judge Terence O’Sullivan heard that on a foggy morning in July 2015 Tanya Ryan’s car was “tipped” from behind by an untraced driver and thrown into a spin that left her facing oncoming traffic on the busy motorway.
John Nolan, barrister for for Ms Ryan (32), a Slimming World agent from Canterbrook, Trim Road, Navan, Co Meath, told the Circuit Civil Court his client had been thrown around several times when her car was hit on a number of occasions and she suffered whiplash injuries.
Mr Nolan said Ms Ryan was suing the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland (MIBI); Aoife Boland, of Edgewood Lawns, Blanchardstown; Brian Keoghan, of Slane Road, Navan, Co Meath; David Fox, of Woodlands, Portmarnock; and David McEntee Transport Limited, Borranstown, Ashbourne, Co Meath.
Mr Nolan said that after a number of impacts Mr McEntee’s articulated lorry had “ploughed into all of them.”
All of the defendants entered a full defence to each of Ms Ryan’s claims and Conor Kearney, barrister for MIBI, told the court that if any of the other defendants were found blameworthy by merely 1 per cent that his client, which represents untraced and uninsured drivers, was legally clear of liability.
Mr Nolan said the car that put Ms Ryan’s vehicle into a spin had not stopped and remained untraced. He said it was Ms Ryan’s case that the remaining defendants collided with or had been caused to collide with her car.
Judge O’Sullivan said the multiple vehicle crash had occurred at 7am on the south bound side of the motorway. A car in front of Ms Ryan braked and then she braked before being hit from the rear and side, which caused her Toyota Yaris to spin.
He said Ms Boland had brought her vehicle to a halt and there may have been a slight impact. Mr Fox, travelling behind Ms Boland, tried to stop and there was an issue as to whether he had or not. Mr Fox’s vehicle had ended up in another lane and in contact with Mr Keoghan’s vehicle. The truck had collided with Ms Boland’s vehicle and had driven it with some considerable force into Ms Ryan’s car.
Judge O’Sullivan told Will Reidy, barrister for Ms Boland, that it was obvious from the evidence she was not to blame. He told Karl Finnegan, counsel for Mr Keoghan, that his client also could not be blamed. The issue was whether Mr Fox and the truck driver could be said to be negligent and the court believed both of them were.
The judge said he held Mr Fox and the lorry company liable in an accident that had been caused initially by an untraced driver. He shared liability between them on a 50-50 basis and awarded Ms Ryan €22,500 damages.
He dismissed the claims against Ms Boland, Mr Keoghan and the MIBI and awarded them their costs against Mr Fox and David McEntee Transport.
Legal sources said that given the number of barristers (six) and solicitors’ firms (six) involved in the case, the legal costs bill was likely to exceed €100,000.