Family settles case against employer after alleged asleep at wheel fatality

It was claimed 19-year-old had to work excessively long shift with drive from Sligo to Dublin at end

The claims were denied and it was contended there was alleged contributory negligence on the part of Bijan Melrose.

The claims were denied and it was contended there was alleged contributory negligence on the part of Bijan Melrose.

 

The family of a young man who died in a road accident as he drove back to Dublin in the early hours after working in Sligo has settled nervous shock actions against his employer.

It was claimed 19-year old Bijan Melrose fell asleep at the wheel as he travelled back to the capital after operating a photo booth and taking pictures at an event for his employer, Shoot Booths Ltd.

At the opening of the case, Gerald Tynan SC, for the family, said the garda evidence would be there was no explanation for the accident other than the student and part-time worker must have fallen asleep.

Counsel said his side’s case was that Mr Melrose should not have been allowed to drive the van back from Sligo to Dublin.

Ian and Masoumeh Melrose, and their daughters Nielufar, Raanah and Sorayya, all of Lower Kilmacud Rd, Stillorgan, Dublin, had each sued Shoot Booths Ltd, with offices at Mine Hill Business Centre, Ballycorus, Dublin as a result of the accident at about 2am on October 18th 2014 at Newtownforbes, Co Longford.

Mr Melrose had driven to Sligo earlier in the day and worked at a function where he operated a photo booth. At around midnight he began the journey back to Dublin.

It was claimed he was required to work an excessively long shift which included a long drive in the dark at its conclusion and was required to drive back to Dublin from Sligo when it was inappropriate and dangerous to do so. It was further claimed there were failures to provide Mr Melrose with accommodation so he could rest and to allow him sufficient rest before requiring him to undertake a night time drive in excess of three hours.

The claims were denied and it was contended there was alleged contributory negligence on the part of Mr Melrose.

In court today, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told all the actions taken by the family had been settled and could be struck out.

Counsel for Shoot Booths Ltd, Edward Walsh SC, sympathised with the family on their tragic loss.

Mr Justice Cross also expressed his condolences to the Melrose family. Wisdom, he said, had prevailed and he congratulated the parties on resolving the actions.

Opening the case this week, Mr Tynan said the van Mr Melrose was driving left the road, smashed into a number of trees and came back across the road.

Another motorist who had been overtaken by Mr Melrose earlier had reported there was no speed involved on Mr Melrose’s part, counsel said.

It was their case Mr Melrose should not have been allowed to drive the vehicle back to Dublin, he said.

The family are devastated and heartbroken by Mr Melrose’s death and have suffered appalling nervous shock, he added.

“They got a knock on the door at 4am to say this young man had been killed.It was horrific. They have suffered tremendously. It will never be over for them,” he said.