Woman awarded €16,000 after sunroof blows off car
‘It was like a bomb going off in the car when the air rushed in,’ court hears
Woman sued garage after the sunroof in her sister’s car blew away while travelling on the M1
A woman (48) who was injured when the sunroof in her sister’s car blew away while travelling on the M1 has been awarded €16,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court.
Anna Kavanagh, of Crannogue Close, Ballymun, Dublin, had sued Denis Mahony Limited, Klilbarrack Road, Dublin 5, on the grounds of negligence in the sale of a car that was expected “to be fit for purpose and of merchantable quality and free from defects”.
Mr Nolan said liability in the case involving four other adults had already been dealt with by the court when Ms Kavanagh’s mother - Kathleen Boylan (72), of Balbutcher Lane, Poppintree, Dublin - had been awarded €25,000 last week.
Today, Ms Kavanagh, told the court she had been thrown forward in the car when it braked abruptly after the incident and injured her lower back. At the time her doctor had prescribed pain killers and a muscle relaxant.
Mr Nolan said the five adults in the car were all related and that the family was on its way to Newry, Co Down, for pre-Christmas shopping when the incident happened. Two children had escaped injury.
The court had already heard “it was like a bomb going off in the car when the air rushed in”.
The Circuit Court president, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, had decided in last week’s case that there had been a serious defect in the car that had resulted in a catastrophic failure of the sun roof.
He said corrosion around the frame of the sun roof could have been found had there been a full and adequate pre-sale inspection.
Today’s claim by Ms Kavanagh, as a result of the court’s previous decision, was dealt with only as an assessment of damages for personal injuries.
The court had earlier accepted that the sun roof flying off at 90 kilometres an hour would have been a shocking and frightening experience and it was understandable that the driver’s immediate reaction would have been to slam on the brakes, jolting the passengers forwards and then backwards.
John Beirne, customer services manager at Denis Mahony, had earlier told the court the condition of the sun roof in a pre-sale inspection would have come under the heading of an electricals check on the car.
David Geary, an independent motor assessor, had given evidence of finding corrosion around the remaining frame of the sun roof. He said if Denis Mahony’s garage had inspected the roof adequately the corrosion would have been visible prior to the sale of the car.
Costs were also awarded against the defendant.