Taxi driver settles appeal over damages claim

Passenger opened door and it was hit by passing bus, court told

Mr Justice Séamus Noonan struck out taxi driver Paul Byrne’s appeal  and adjourned a counter-claim which Dublin Bus had brought.

Mr Justice Séamus Noonan struck out taxi driver Paul Byrne’s appeal and adjourned a counter-claim which Dublin Bus had brought.

 

A taxi driver, who claimed he was injured when a passenger opened the door of his cab into the path of an oncoming bus, has settled his appeal over the dismissal of a damages claim against Dublin Bus.

Paul Byrne (43), The Granary, Shelbourne Village, Dublin 4, lost his action in the Circuit Court last year and was ordered to pay legal costs and the €300 cost of repairs to the bus.

He appealed that decision to the High Court where, following talks after the case was part heard, Mr Justice Séamus Noonan was told the matter had been settled.

Murray Johnson SC, for Mr Byrne, said the case could be struck out with an order for the taxation of Mr Byrne’s legal costs in both the Circuit and High Courts.

The judge struck out the case on those terms and adjourned a counter-claim which Dublin Bus had brought in relation to the €300 repair costs.

Earlier, Mr Byrne told the court he was dropping off the back seat passenger at Usher’s Quay, Dublin, at around 11.30pm on September 28th, 2015.

No money

The court heard the passenger had asked him to take her to an internet cafe opposite Heuston Station and they were en route when she told him she did not have money to pay the fare.

Mr Byrne said he stopped to let her out at Usher’s Quay and told her twice to get out on the pavement side of the cab, but she made no reply.

He said she opened the door on the road side, just behind the driver, and he told her to close it but a bus hit the partly open door, shattering a small triangular window in it.

“I thought I was going to die when the bus went into the car, I was showered in glass,” he said.

Cross examined by Gerard O’Herlihy, solicitor for Dublin Bus, Mr Byrne disputed the door had been open for a split second and therefore the bus driver had no chance to avoid it.

Mr Byrne insisted it was open for four or five seconds.

He said he attended hospital the following day where he was prescribed anti-inflammatories for pain and anti-anxiety medication. He said he had trouble sleeping afterwards and was out of work for about two weeks.

Dublin Bus denied negligence and its driver told the Circuit Court he was unable to avoid a collision but believed he had given the taxi a wide enough berth to have passed him without incident prior to the door being opened onto the roadway.