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some neck Driver who claimed 'broken neck' has insurance claim thrown out of court

Taxi driver who claimed €60,000 damages after a 'minimal impact' rear-ending has case thrown out

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Paul Odedele talking to our man

Paul Odedele talking to our man

Paul Odedele talking to our man

Meet the taxi driver whose €60,000 claim for damages was thrown out - after the Circuit Court heard he'd shouted for an ambulance for 'a broken neck' after a 'minimal impact rear-ending'.

Paul Odedele told the Sunday World he now regrets taking the case to court - as it means he has lost out on an earlier offer of damages of €15,950 from the Personal Injuries Assessment Board.

But the 63-year-old also insisted his claim "was not dodgy" and that he remains injured by the "low impact collision" which took place more than four years ago.

He also claims he was traumatised as he has "a brother who was involved in an accident like that who is in a wheelchair."

"I didn't go out to make any dodgy claim," he said.

"The accident happened. I suffered, at the time [of the accident]. I was dizzy, I felt my neck and my back was injured.

"So naturally I should have been compensated and there's no doubt about that."

Judge Cormac Quinn disagreed, however, after hearing evidence in relation to Mr Odedele's claim when it came before Dublin Circuit Court last week.

Mr Odedele told the court he had been sitting in traffic near the Santry crossroads on the Swords Road, Dublin, on the evening of August 25, 2017, when his taxi had been struck from behind.

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Paul Odedele, taxi driver. Pic: Sunday World

Paul Odedele, taxi driver. Pic: Sunday World

Paul Odedele, taxi driver. Pic: Sunday World

He claimed the collision had been a high-impact one and he thought his neck had been broken.

A garda who had been called to the scene had found him sitting in the rear passenger seat of his taxi with his feet outside the vehicle.

The court heard Mr Odedele had been shouting to the driver of the other car, Ms Kennedy, to call an ambulance for him.

But Judge Quinn said he could not find any link between what was an accident on the "low scale of minimal" impact and his shouting for an ambulance because he felt he had a broken neck.

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He told defence barrister Moira Flahive the court accepted her emphasis relating to the damage to both cars - a hairline crack to the back bumper of Odedele's taxi and a small crack to the front number plate of the defendant's car.

Ms Flahive, who appeared on behalf of the insurers of Ciara Kennedy, Hillsborough, Co Down, also told Mr Odedele in cross-examination that he had not made a single complaint about neck pain during five hours he spent in the emergency department of Beaumont Hospital after the accident.

Throwing out Mr Odedele's personal injuries claim and awarding costs against him, Judge Quinn said Mr Odedele had not even sought an estimate for a repair to his taxi and had not carried out any repair.

Judge Quinn said the level of severity of the collision was not consistent with Mr Odedele's claim of a suspected broken neck at the time and his evidence of continuing back and shoulder pain.

"I do not accept the veracity of the plaintiff's evidence in relation to his injuries," Judge Quinn said.

"He has not established his case and I dismiss his claim with costs to the defendant."

Asked about his reaction to how his case had turned out, Mr Odedele said: "In the court I was more or less on trial and that was very unfair to me.

"The accident that happened, I didn't cause it. The lady hit me.

"And as I stated in the court I was dizzy, and I felt my neck.

"So, when the lady come to me I asked her to call the ambulance as I was feeling sick.

"She called the guards and the ambulance came and that was the story.

"I told them in the hospital I thought I had a broken neck and they said it was probably T1 or T2 of the neck.

"But then they took me for x-ray and told me there was no broken bone and I was glad.

"Because I don't want to be disabled.

"Even if I was paid to be in a wheelchair, I wouldn't want that.

"I had pain. I had ongoing pain and I went to my GP who examined me, and he found I had swelling between my scapula and my back. Possibly, it is still there.

"I was awarded €15,595 by PIAB."

"But now the PIAB award has been withdrawn because the judge dismissed the case."

Asked about the lack of damage to his vehicle and the fact he hadn't even bothered to get it repaired, Mr Odedele said: "I was about to buy this car at that time, so I didn't care to repair the car.

"And it is true that there wasn't any big damage on my bumper.

"The other lady's car … the guards said only the number plate was broken.

"The judge's decision was that was a low impact, which the defendants also argued, therefore it was inconsistent with any claims that I had for a neck or back injury.

"But I wasn't claiming for my back or neck. I was claiming for the injury to my scapula."

Asked whether, in spite of the case's outcome, he maintains his claim he is still suffering, Mr Odedele answered: "I am still suffering trauma because this injury wakes me up at night.

"I continue to suffer the trauma."

Asked whether this included psychological trauma, Mr Odedele replied: "Yes. I cried a lot when I was taken to Beaumont.

"One of the reasons why my trauma continues is that I have a brother who was involved in an accident like that who is in a wheelchair.

"So, I keep thinking about it.

"And I say God I am just thankful that I do not end up in that trouble.

"The money, if it has been withdrawn by the judge, I don't care about it.

"If anyone offered me €100,000 to be in the wheelchair, I would not take it."

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