Judge dis­misses man’s €60k claim that high heels were to blame for sis­ter’s car crash

Irish Independent - - News - Ray Managh

FIRST his mother’s high heels and then, six years later, his sis­ter’s high heels con­trib­uted to rear-end­ing ac­ci­dents that re­sulted in in­juries to their son and brother, a court has been told.

John O’Brien Jnr, of Bal­lyo­gan Drive, Car­rick­mines, Dublin, al­leged in a €60,000 dam­ages claim against his sis­ter Stephanie O’Brien, of Old Church Cres­cent, Clon­dalkin, Dublin, and her in­surer AXA that he in­jured his right arm and back when her car rearended an­other at Ballinteer Round­about.

When cross-ex­am­ined by bar­ris­ter Conor Kear­ney, coun­sel for AXA and his sis­ter, Mr O’Brien told the Cir­cuit Civil Court he had been in­volved in a pre­vi­ous ac­ci­dent in 2011 but failed – as out­lined by Mr Kear­ney – to dis­close three other ac­ci­dents for which he had re­ceived com­pen­sa­tion.

In the ac­ci­dent on Fe­bru­ary 13, 2015, in Ballinteer in­volv­ing his sis­ter’s car, the de­fen­dant Ms O’Brien told Cir­cuit Court Pres­i­dent Mr Jus­tice Ray­mond Groarke that she had been wear­ing high-heel shoes.

Her foot had slipped off the pedal, caus­ing her to rear-end an­other car.

Mr Kear­ney ques­tioned Mr O’Brien about the three ac­ci­dents he had failed to dis­close, one of which in­volved his mother in 2009 in which she, as the driver, had blamed one of her high heels hav­ing be­come trapped un­der a mat for caus­ing that rear-end­ing ac­ci­dent.

The court heard there were five oc­cu­pants in Ms O’Brien’s car at Ballinteer round­about on Fe­bru­ary 13, 2015.

All of them had made per­sonal in­jury claims, al­though oc­cu­pants of the car that had been rear-ended had not made any per­sonal in­jury claims.

At the end of the ev­i­dence given by O’Brien and his sis­ter, Mr Kear­ney, who ap­peared with De­lahunty O’Con­nor Solic­i­tors for AXA, ap­plied to have Mr O’Brien’s claim dis­missed on the ba­sis that he had mis­lead the court.

Mr O’Brien claimed to have ‘an ap­palling bad mem­ory’


Judge Groarke said Mr O’Brien had pur­posely sought to mis­lead both the court and the de­fence.

He had claimed to have “an ap­palling bad mem­ory” with re­gard to his claims his­tory.

“I don’t be­lieve him for a minute,” Judge Groarke added.

The judge said Mr O’Brien had a duty and obli­ga­tion to be truth­ful.

He saw no in­jus­tice in dis­miss­ing his claim and award­ing costs against him in favour of the de­fence.

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