Passenger who promised driver a ‘few quid’ after crash awarded €10,000
Electrician Stephen Mills (24) had been sitting in the back seat when the accident happened
The court heard liability was conceded and the court was being asked to assess damages for personal injury. Photograph: Alan Betson
A 24-year-old electrician, who texted the driver of a car in which he had been injured in a collision that he would throw him a “few quid”, has been awarded €10,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court for neck and back injuries.
Stephen Mills, of Lissadell Drive, Drimnagh, Dublin 12, told Judge John O’Connor he was being driven by a work colleague, Michael Doyle, to a 21st birthday party in the Red Cow Hotel when the vehicle had been struck in the side as it had changed lanes on Long Mile Road as it approached the Red Cow.
He said he had been sitting in the back seat when the accident happened on March 9th 2018. It wasn’t until the following day that he had experienced pain in his neck and back.
Mr Mills told his barrister Paul Gallagher that he had gone to St James’s Hospital several days after the incident and had been advised to undergo physiotherapy which he did only when he felt he needed it. Mr Gallagher, who appeared with Anderson and Gallagher Solicitors, told the court liability was conceded and the court was being asked to assess damages for personal injury.
Medical reports revealed that Mr Mills had suffered pain in his neck and back for several months after the accident.
Mr Mills sued Adrian Doyle, of Mulgannon, Wexford, who owned the car driven by his son, Michael Doyle, and Cali Jaama Ducale, of the Aisling Guest House, Dublin Road, Baltrasna, Ashbourne, Co Meath, the driver of the second car involved. The court heard Mr Ducale had been let out of the case by agreement and only Adrian Doyle was being pursued in negligence as defendant.
During cross-examination, Mr Mills told the court he had not attended his general practitioner and denied only having attended the hospital several days later after a relation had told him he could take a case about the accident.
He agreed he had sent a text to Michael Doyle telling him he was going to hospital to “have it on file” and would be putting in a claim. He had told Michael Doyle in the text that he was not going to work and had stated “don’t go work and say we wore [stet] in crash”.
Conor Kearney, who appeared with Ennis Solicitors, for Adrian Doyle, read out a copy of the text message by Mr Mills to Michael Doyle in which Mr Mills had said: “It be nice to get. I’d throw ye few quid when we get it if it’s all good with you… bud.”
Mr Mills said his reference to throwing Mr Doyle a few quid would have been for assisting him with regard to documentation, registration number and insurance details, regarding Adrian Doyle’s car.
Michael Doyle had replied to Mr Mills: “Yeah. I might do the same. I may think bout it tho I could do with the cash.” He told Mr Gallagher, counsel for Mr Mills, in cross examination that he had been involved in the text exchanges but denied it had been at a time when he thought it was the other driver, Mr Ducale, who would be held to blame.
Mr Doyle told Mr Gallagher he later realised he was going to be held responsible for the crash and it had “entered my mind that I was setting myself up”.
Judge O’Connor, after having heard the evidence and having read medical reports said he would award Mr Mills €10,000 with district court costs.