A woman, who was six months pregnant when her car was rear-ended by two other vehicles, has been awarded just under €30,000 damages by a court for neck and back injuries sustained in the incident and future pain and suffering.
Judge James McCourt heard in the Circuit Civil Court that the Vauxhall Astra driven by bar worker Margaret Kelly Slattery (45), of Mayeston Crescent, Finglas, Dublin 11, was struck by a Mercedes which in turn was hit by a Ford Fiesta in a February 2018 pile-up.
Barrister Martin Dully, for Ms Slattery, told the judge that due to a mechanical breakdown, in which a rear wheel and part of the axle of her car had shorn off, his client brought her car to a halt on St Margaret’s Road, Swords.
Mr Dully, who appeared with Bannon Clinch Collins Solicitors, said her car was then hit by a Mercedes C250 driven by Adekunle Adewale, of Bruff Road, Ipswich, England, which in turn was rear-ended by the Ford driven by Joanna Boylan, of Ayrfield Avenue, Dublin.
Mr Adewale claimed he was suddenly confronted by a cloud of billowing smoke coming from Ms Slattery’s car and saw a wheel bouncing towards him.
He believed his car had been struck and damaged by the wheel and hub of Ms Slattery’s car and denied having driven into the back of her car. He said his own vehicle was then struck by Ms Boylan’s Ford Fiesta.
Ms Slattery sued Mr Adewale and Ms Boylan and, in turn, Mr Adewale sued Ms Slattery and Ms Boylan.
Judge McCourt held that Mr Adewale, whose Mercedes was written-off by his insurers,was 75 per cent responsible for the accident and Ms Boylan 25 per cent. His claim against Ms Slattery was dismissed.
Shane English, counsel for Ms Boylan, told Mr Adewale in cross-examination that he had made up his version of events as he went along. Judge McCourt said Mr Adewale had led everyone a merry dance including insurers and his own legal team.
Ms Boylan, who accepted liability for having struck Mr Adewale’s Mercedes, told the court she knew little of what happened ahead of her as she was confronted by a cloud of billowing smoke before the collison.
Judge McCourt awarded Ms Slattery damages of €29,991, payable on a 75 per cent to 25 per cent basis by Mr Adewale’s and Ms Boylan’s respective insurers.
In Mr Adewale’s claim against Ms Boylan, Judge McCourt said he was driven into by her and awarded him general damages for pain and suffering of €7,500 and €13,397 special damages including the loss of his Mercedes that had been written off. On the basis that he had been 75 per cent responsible for the collisions, he awarded him a decree for €5,224 with District Court costs.