Woman loses €60,000 injury claim after court hears car hit empty van

€60,000 damages claim after car ‘brushes’ van dismissed

A “passenger in an empty van” has lost a €60,000 damages claim in the Circuit Civil Court for personal injuries.

Barrister John Martin, counsel for AIG Insurance, told Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke there was no-one in a parked Ford Transit van when it was accidentally struck by a hire car.

Tallaght housewife Ann Lawrence had brought a claim against the insurers of hire firm Executive Trust Limited, which trades as Europcar, and Lydia Battao, who was driving the hire car near Balbriggan, Co Dublin, when the accident occurred in April 2015.

When the legal team for Ms Lawrence (36) of New Seskin Court, Whitestown Way, Tallaght, applied for an adjournment or to be allowed to come off record on her behalf, Mr Martin intervened.


Mr Martin, who appeared with Linda O'Connell of Pembroke Solicitors, told the court Ms Lawrence had failed to turn up to prosecute her claim and he was asking for it to be dismissed with costs against her.

He told the court that Ms Battao, who had flown in from Spain to defend the claim, had been visiting friends in Co Dublin and was parking her hire car at Clonuske Lane, Balbriggan, when she had brushed against a parked, empty van.

After having made inquiries as to who owned the van she had been directed to a ground-floor apartment where she had found the owner who had been in bed at the time. She had told him the van was empty but that she had struck it and both parties had exchanged details.

The court learned that shortly after having reported the incident a claim had been made by Ms Lawrence who alleged she had been a front seat passenger in the van when Ms Battao struck it.

“There was nobody in the van at the time and the plaintiff has not turned up in court today to prosecute her claim,” Mr Martin said. He opposed any adjournment or application for Ms Lawrence’s legal team to be allowed to come off record on her behalf.

Ms Lawrence had claimed she had been injured in the incident and had been prescribed anti-inflammatory medication and painkillers as a treatment.

Judge Groarke dismissed Ms Lawrence's claim and awarded costs against her in favour of Executive Trust Limited and Ms Batteo.