Dismissed | 

Taxi driver ‘who thought neck had been broken’ in rear-ending loses €60K damages claim

Claimant (63) did not make any complaint about neck pain during five hours he spent in hospital A&E after incident, court heard
Stock image

Stock image

Ray Managh

A taxi driver who told a court he thought his neck had been broken in a “minimal rear-ending” accident has lost a €60,000 damages claim against a motorist.

Judge Cormac Quinn told 63-year-old Paul Odedele 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.

Judge Quinn 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.

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.

Ms Flahive, who appeared on behalf of the insurers of Ciara Kennedy, Edentrillich, Hillsborough, Co Down, 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.

Mr Odedele, of Carraig Beag, Drumalee, Co Cavan, said 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.

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.

Judge Quinn said he could not link Mr Odedele’s evidence of having thought he had broken his neck with the evidence of hairline crack damage to the registration plate of the defendant’s car and only a crack to the bumper of his taxi.

He had not complained of a neck injury in the hospital but had later told his doctor he had a pain in his back. 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.”

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