Cyclist injured when bike skidded on lane awarded €66,000

Nuala Ryan (61) argued pebbles on Clonmel surface like ‘marbles on top of a skating rink’

A woman who fell off her bike and hurt her back when it skidded as she cycled near her Co Tipperary home has been awarded €66,000 at the High Court. Filehotograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times.

A woman who fell off her bike and hurt her back when it skidded as she cycled near her Co Tipperary home has been awarded €66,000 at the High Court. Filehotograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times.

 

A woman who fell off her bike and hurt her back when it skidded as she cycled near her Co Tipperary home has been awarded €66,000 at the High Court.

Ms Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon said the stones and the debris on the tarmacadam surface of the lane where Nuala Ryan fell were “a nuisance and a danger to the public”.

Mrs Ryan (61), of St Bernadette’s Terrace, Clonmel, had sued Tipperary County Council over the accident on January 4th, 2014.

It was claimed that her injuries were not caused by the council’s failure to repair the the laneway, but by alleged negligent design and construction.

The council denied the claims and contended the stones on which Mrs Ryan came to harm were identified as either the breakup of the laneway or infill material used in the repair of potholes by third parties. As a result, the council claimed no liability could attach to it.

Mrs Ryan told the court that after skidding on the pebbles she fell off her bicycle, was trapped, could not move and two girls had to help her.

She was brought to hospital where it was found she had a wedged compression fracture. The court heard she had to wear a spinal brace for months and still suffers from back pain.

The judge said Mrs Ryan’s contention was that the surface of the lane was left as if it were “like marbles on top of a skating rink”.

Ms Justice O’Hanlon found the gully scoping on the lane surface and dishing effect were factors which led to the accident.

Awarding a total of €66,000, Ms Justice O’Hanlon ruled that it was reasonably foreseeable that if the gully and tarmacadam surface were constructed in such a way as to lead to a slope with dishing that the resulting accumulation would cause a trap for the public.