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damages award Driver rear-ended by motorist (92) visting his wife's grave is awarded €88k for injuries

Accident occurred as Alphonsus Clifford was making his daily journey to visit the grave of his wife


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A driver ‘rear-ended’ by a 92 year old motorist who was making his daily journey to visit his wife’s grave has been awarded €88,406 in damages for a ‘significant’ neck injury sustained in the accident.

At the High Court sitting in Ennis on Friday, Mr Justice Anthony Barr made the award to Joseph Mulcahy as a result of the 2016 road traffic accident which caused just over €600 worth of damage to Mr Mulcahy’s car.

The rear-ending accident occurred at around 11am on November 11th 2016 at Ballysimon Rd, Limerick as Mr Alphonsus Clifford was making his daily journey to visit the grave of his wife.

Plaintiff in the contested personal injury action, Mr Mulcahy (57) stated that he was stopped at the Tipperary roundabout and was waiting to proceed on to the roundabout when he was rear-ended by Mr Forde’s vehicle.

Mr Justice Barr stated that a paramedic who arrived at the scene told the court that he saw there was “minimal damage to the vehicles”.

Making the award, Mr Justice Barr awarded €50,000 to Mr Mulcahy for pain and suffering to date and €25,000 for pain and suffering into the future.

The balance of €13,406 concerning ‘special damages’.

Ms Justice Barr said that he accepted the evidence of Mr Mulcahy that he suffered constant and at times severe pain in his neck radiating into his left shoulder from the accident.

The judge stated that he accepted that Mr Mulcahy’s pain and resulting disability is of such a level that he has decided to go ahead with neck surgery, notwithstanding there there is no guarantee that it will provide a very significant improvement in his symptoms.

Mr Justice Barr stated that Mr Mulcahy told the court that given his level of ongoing pain and discomfort he was experiencing in his neck, left shoulder and arm on a constant basis, he had decided to go ahead with the surgery.

Mr Justice Barr stated that even if the surgery is regarded as successful, it will give only partial relief.

He stated that this means that Mr Mulcahy “has suffered a significant injury to his neck as a result of the road traffic accident in November 2016.”

Eighteen medical reports were furnished to court on behalf of Mr Mulcahy and Mr Justice Barr added: “Thus, it would appear that the plaintiff will be left after the surgery, with remaining symptoms for the rest of his life. He will also be left with back pain going into the future”.

In deciding liability in the case in favour of Mr Mulcahy, Mr Justice Barr stated that there is no question of any contributory negligence on the part of Mr Mulcahy for either causation of the accident or his injuries.

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Mr Justice Barr stated that Mr Mulcahy is a married man, is on disability and hasn’t worked since 2014 due to various work stressors.

Mr Justice Barr also awarded costs in favour of Mr Mulcahy.

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