Judge Gerard Griffin awarded graphic designer David Keane €17,500 after hearing how the driver of the buggy performed a handbrake-style turn, causing an accident in which Mr Keane suffered head, back and knee injuries.
Barrister Tracy Ennis Faherty, instructed by solicitor John Browne of Hussey Fraser, told the court that Mr Keane, following the incident on November 4, 2017, was bleeding from the head and had been helped by two bridesmaids, both doctors.
Barrister Ennis Faherty, who appeared with John Browne of Hussey Fraser Solicitors, said her client had also received first aid assistance from the bride as a result of which her dress had been damaged by blood stains.
The wedding party was not identified in court during Keane’s €60,000 damages claim against the hotel owners.
Ennis Faherty told Judge Griffin that the defendant, Podium Hospitality Ltd, trading as Kilkea Castle Hotel, had failed to engage with Mr Keane’s proceedings despite having been contacted on 11 separate occasions.
Judge Griffin directed that the defendant company be called in court to establish if any representative had attended on its behalf. When there was no response the case proceeded as an assessment of damages in the absence of the defendant.
David Keane told how the buggy on which he and his wife had been travelling started to increase speed after which the driver had taken a sharp left. He had been thrown from the buggy and had landed on his head, suffering concussion and injuries to both his knees and back.
Judge Griffin inspected a scar on Mr Keane’s head. Keane told the judge he had been treated by the two bridesmaids and also helped by the bride.
He said that as a result of his injuries he had been unable to attend meetings with clients. He had undergone a course of physiotherapy and had carried out an exercise regime that had been suggested for him.
Keane said he had been unable to play squash for 18 months following the accident but had taken it up again.
He told Ms Ennis Faherty that the hotel had been extremely rude in the way they had dealt with the incident. He had to clean up afterwards and had not been offered any medical assistance by the hotel.
Judge Griffin awarded Mr Keane €17,500 damages together with Circuit Court costs. He said one would “have to look for the scar” in order to see it on Mr Keane’s head.