Homeless man paralysed after falling under bus settles case for €2m

Michael Carroll suffered catastrophic injuries after incident in Dublin city centre

Counsel said liability was at issue in the case and it had settled on the basis of an apportionment of 75 per cent liability to Dublin Bus and 25 per cent to Mr Carroll. File photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Counsel said liability was at issue in the case and it had settled on the basis of an apportionment of 75 per cent liability to Dublin Bus and 25 per cent to Mr Carroll. File photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

 

A homeless man who suffered catastrophic injuries and is paralysed from the waist down after falling under a bus in Dublin city centre has settled his High Court action for €2m.

Michael Carroll had been homeless for 15 years at the time of the accident in October 2014, the court heard.

Mr Carroll now has paraplegia, has to use a wheelchair and needs full-time care, Richard Lyons SC, with Niall O’Neill BL, said.

Counsel said this was a tragic accident where Mr Carroll had been about to board the bus, the doors closed and the bus drove off.

Mr Carroll, who was near the side wheel, fell under the bus and suffered catastrophic injuries, counsel said.

Counsel said liability was at issue in the case and it had settled on the basis of an apportionment of 75 per cent liability to Dublin Bus and 25 per cent to Mr Carroll.

He said Mr Carroll, who had a chronic history of alcoholism, was intoxicated at the time of the accident in the Liberties and could not remember anything about it.

When Mr Carroll was recovering after surgery in hospital and awaiting transfer to the National Rehabilitation Hospital, a relative who saw him recognised him, Mr Lyons said.

Mr Carroll, one of seven children, had become estranged from his family but has since reunited with his sister and lived with her for a time after the accident, the court heard. He moved to a nursing home last year.

Mr Carroll (59), with an address in Finglas, Dublin, had sued Dublin Bus over the accident on October 23rd, 2014 at a bus stop on James’s St/Thomas St, Dublin.

It was claimed Mr Carroll was attempting to get on a bus when the doors closed and the bus drove away, allegedly causing him to fall under the bus. It was alleged there was failure to ensure it was safe to drive away from the bus stop when Mr Carroll was too close to the bus.

Other claims included failure to stop the bus when Mr Carroll was falling against it as it moved off, that the bus was driven away without due care and attention and there was failure to keep any proper or any adequate lookout.

The claims were denied and Dublin Bus said the bus driver did not drive away from the bus stop when Mr Carroll was at its doors.

It pleaded Mr Carroll had stumbled after the bus had begun to move and the driver did not close the bus doors as Mr Carroll was attempting to get on

The driver did stop when becoming aware Mr Carroll had fallen against the bus, Dublin Bus claimed.

It pleaded contributory negligence on the part of Mr Carroll in allegedly failing to take any or any adequate or reasonable care for his safety.

It was further alleged he stumbled against the bus without making any attempt to get on in the moments prior and before the bus moved off.

Approving the settlement Mr Justice Kevin Cross said it was a reasonable one.