Man who suffered brain injury in one punch assault can reject €1 million award

High Court gave permission for Stephen Avery (52) to reject award from Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal

The injured man’s sister   said her brother   is not able to manage his own money and will need considerable care into the future.

The injured man’s sister said her brother is not able to manage his own money and will need considerable care into the future.

 

A 52-year old man who suffered a brain injury in a single punch assault on a Dublin street has been granted permission by the High Court to reject an award of over €1million by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal.

Stephen Avery can now appeal the compensation award to a full sitting of the tribunal.

Mr Avery was the victim of an assault outside the City Arms Pub, Prussia Street, Dublin on October 27th, 2008. He suffered a traumatic brain injury and while he can walk, he needs care.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross said he thought it was in the best interests of Mr Avery to reject the award and to proceed by appeal. The judge hoped that appeal could be heard as quickly as possible.

The judge noted Mr Avery, who had been injured in an unprovoked attack, had brought separate proceedings against the pub but that case had previously settled for €30,000.

He also noted the attack occurred outside the pub and it could not be held responsible and Mr Avery’s claim was to the tribunal.

In a submission to the tribunal, Mr Avery’s side said he had been engaged in a minor scuffle earlier on in the night in question, but was punched in the face by a man who was not involved in the earlier altercation.

It said Mr Avery had been asked to leave the pub and walked out but was punched and hit his head on the pavement. A taxi driver witnessed the assault.

A man was arrested and charged with an offence under Section 4 of the Non Fatal Offences Against the Person Act and he pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to five years imprisonment with half of the sentence suspended for a period of three years.

In a written decision, the tribunal said there was no evidence before it that Mr Avery was in any way responsible for his injuries. It noted he had previous convictions in the UK relating to burglary and handling stolen goods in the 1990s but it was satisfied he had turned away from crime to a very large extent when he moved to Ireland in 2000.

Counsel for Mr Avery, Eoin McCullough SC said an award of €1.16m was made by the tribunal but his side contended a number of headings could be revisited.

Mr Avery now has poor balance and walks with a limp and has right sided weakness.

In an affidavit, Mr Avery’s sister Linda Milbank said her brother currently lives in the UK and she did not believe he understands the complexities involved in the appeal.She said he is not able to manage his own money and will need considerable care into the future.