Woman whose husband died on stag weekend in Galway settles action for €250,000

Court heard 30 year old had been in pub for about eight to nine hours before being hit by taxi

The court heard the construction worker had arrived in Galway on Friday, June 16th, 2017 for a stag weekend. Image: iStock

The court heard the construction worker had arrived in Galway on Friday, June 16th, 2017 for a stag weekend. Image: iStock

 

A woman whose husband died while attending a stag weekend in Galway has settled a High Court action for €250,000.

Thirty-year-old Sam Rowlands, a father of one from Wales, became disorientated after he left a Galway city centre pub to go back to his hotel and ended up on a road outside the city where he was hit by a taxi, the court heard on Monday.

Mr Rowlands, a construction worker, had arrived in Galway on Friday, June 16th, 2017, for a stag weekend. He died after being hit by a taxi at Bushypark on the N59 Moycullen Road in the early hours of June 17th.

Mr Justice Garrett Simons was told Mr Rowlands had spent about eight and a half hours in the pub before the accident and liability was very much at issue.

Mr Rowlands’ widow, Lowri Jennet Rowlands, had sued the taxi driver Imran Khan, Rahoon, Galway, over the accident.

Her counsel Michael O’Connor BL told the court on Monday there was an “atrocious liability issue” in the case.

Counsel said Mr Rowlands had covered some distance after leaving the city centre pub and was observed by one witness staggering out on to the road.

The taxi driver was returning from dropping off a fare and, according to his account of the incident, Mr Rowlands almost jumped on the bonnet of the car and appeared suddenly in front of the taxi.

An inquest into Mr Rowlands’ death heard one motorist had to earlier swerve when a man matching the Welsh man’s description stumbled out on to the road.

Mr Khan, the inquest heard, was driving at 50 to 55 km per hour in the 100 km per hour speed zone as there was a bend in the road and he had said he was “in no rush”.

Counsel told the High Court he was “concerned about the liability position, to say the least.”

An accident investigation report had said it looked like Mr Rowlands hit the car from an elevated position, which would appear to support the taxi driver’s claim, he said.

In an affidavit, the dead man’s wife said, when her husband left the city centre pub where he had been with friends, it appears he became disorientated and lost his way. She said it appeared he was attempting to hail a taxi when he was struck by a car.

She said initially there was hope and Mr Rowlands was brought to University College Hospital, Galway but his condition deteriorated. He had suffered a brain injury and, ultimately, it proved hopeless, she said. His family managed to spend time with him before he was taken off life support. The couple have a son Joseph, now aged six.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Simons said Mr Rowlands had been in the public house for about eight to nine hours before the accident. He also noted that no prosecution had been brought against the taxi driver.

In the circumstances, it was a very good settlement, he said.