Man awarded €48,000 damages over bike incident


A MAN who suffered arm injuries after coming off his mountain bike shortly after collecting it from a bicycle repair shop has been awarded damages of €48,000 at the High Court, including €7,000 in aggravated damages.

Piotr Lizanowicz (27), a cleaner with an address at Stratford Haven, Orwell Road, Rathgar, Dublin, had sued Hollingsworth Cycles Limited, Templeogue Village, Dublin, for alleged negligence and breach of contract relating to repairs carried out on the bike.

The company denied the claims.

Mr Lizanowicz, a native of Poland, told the court the bike was about six months old and he had left it with the defendant to have the brakes fixed and broken spokes repaired.

He said he had just collected it on April 20th, 2009, having paid €54 for repairs, and was cycling down the Terenure Road when he heard a noise from the front wheel which appeared to lock. He was thrown over the handlebars fracturing his right elbow.

Having heard the evidence yesterday, Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne said she effectively had to decide whether the plaintiff’s account of what happened was accurate or whether the incident was conjured up and faked for the purpose of getting money out of the defendants.

Mr Lizanowicz had essentially claimed, when the bike tyre was reinflated, there was no appropriate check to ensure the tyre and tubing were properly seated within the rim.

It was claimed that this led to a situation where the tubing popped out while he was cycling along with the consequence it obstructed the wheel from rotating, leading to him going over the handlebars.

Ms Justice Dunne also said there could be no doubt the defence had unequivocally and unambiguously made the allegation of fraud against the plaintiff. It was in those circumstances she was awarding €7,000 aggravated damages.

In seeking aggravated damages, Micheal Byrne SC, for Mr Lizanowicz, said that his client has been accused of an extremely serious criminal offence during the hearing which was more serious than the incident itself.