‘My body is destroyed from people driving into me,’ says claimant

Ennis Circuit Court rejects compensation for man who has been involved in 10 crashes

Stock Photograph: Getty Images

Stock Photograph: Getty Images


A Limerick man who had a compensation claim dismissed by a judge told the court his “body is destroyed from people driving into me”.

At Ennis Circuit Court, Gerry McDonagh said: “I don’t go around claiming off people for nothing. If you get hurted, you get hurted.”

Mr McDonagh was giving evidence in a compensation claim for alleged injuries in a crash at the entrance to a service station on Lahinch Road in Ennis on August 10th, 2012.

Judge Gerald Keys found the threshold had not been reached that the driver of the other car, Niamh Kitson, was in any way negligent in causing the crash.

The court heard the crash was one of 10 traffic incidents Mr McDonagh, of Fanningstown, Fedamore, Co Limerick, has been involved in - including six since 2012.

The court heard Mr McDonagh has received total compensation awards of €40,700 following two traffic incidents; a trip in 2008 and another incident where he fell down the stairs of his local authority house in Limerick 25 years ago.

During cross-examination by counsel for Ms Kitson, Siobhán Gallagher BL, Mr McDonagh told the court: “I was in a number of car accidents that were not my fault. I was never ever charged with dangerous driving or anything like that. I always travel with insurance and tax on my car.”

Mr McDonagh told the court the incident in Ennis had aggravated the back pain he sustained as a result of a crash the previous month. He said he also had some ‘flashbacks’.

In evidence, Ms Kitson said Mr McDonagh crashed into her stationary car at the service station, contradicting his claim that she drove into his car. “It was like a cross-wind on a motorway. I could barely feel it.”

The estimated cost to the damage to Ms Kitson’s car was €579 and the estimated cost of damage to Mr McDonagh’s was €1,166.

Ms Kitson said the damage was so minor to her car she never carried out any repairs on it. “You wouldn’t even know if there was a dent on my car.”

Ms Gallagher said that when Ms Kitson’s insurer examined Mr McDonagh’s back, the doctor believed he was exaggerating his symptoms.

Judge Keys granted costs against Mr McDonagh but put a stay on the order pending any appeal.