Man loses damages claim after Garda car ‘shunted’ into his
Judge says he prefers evidence from the gardaí and awards costs against plaintiff
Man who sued the State after a collision faces a large legal bill after losing his High Court damages claim.
A man who sued the State after an unmarked Garda car involved in the pursuit of another driver crashed into his car is facing a large legal costs bill after losing his High Court damages claim.
Mukesh Kumar (40), Olcovar, Shankill,Co Dublin, sued the State as a result of the crash near a junction of the N11 outside Shankill, Co Dublin, at 11.40pm on December 6th, 2009.
He claimed he was on the way to work when the Garda car crashed into his car.
He alleged a failure to stop, slow or swerve, or otherwise manage the Garda vehicle in such a way as to have avoided the accident.
Mr Kumar sustained a soft tissue injury to his shoulder and claimed his ability to carry out ordinary routine movements, including reaching and lifting, was adversely affected.
The claims were denied and the Garda evidence was the unmarked car was shunted into the lane where Mr Kumar’s car was.
Gardaí had been in pursuit of a driver who was later charged and pleaded guilty to four counts before the Circuit Criminal Court including dangerous driving and driving while intoxicated.
That driver was given a three-year suspended sentence and ordered to pay €2,000 to Mr Kumar.
Dismissing Mr Kumar’s action, Mr Justice David Keane said there was no doubt he was a “blameless” party but he preferred the Garda evidence in the case.
Mr Kumar’s evidence was unequivocal but vague, he said. The incident where the unmarked car crashed into Mr Kumar’s car happened in the “space of two seconds” on a dark night.
Gardaí were dealing with a man who had been driving in a dangerous way for some considerable time and there was an urgent necessity to bring that to a halt, he said.
Gardaí were obliged to make a “split second” decision and were trying to bring the situation to a conclusion.
The Garda evidence was gardaí were in pursuit of a driver who had been swerving in and out of traffic near the N11 dual carriageway in south Dublin.
Their evidence was that an attempt was made to box him in but the driver had taken an “undertaking manoeuvre” of the unmarked Garda car and shunted that vehicle into the opposite carriageway, where it crashed into the front of Mr Kumar’s car.
Mr Justice Keane said he accepted without hesitation the honesty and integrity of the witnesses on both sides of the case and the real conflict was what led gardaí to be on that side of the road.
He awarded costs of the action, which ran for almost three days, against Mr Kumar.