€3m settlement for cyclist suffering brain injury after crash

A cyclist who suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was thrown almost 2.5m in the air after he was hit by a van has settled his High Court action for €3m.

Alexandru Martin Doroscan was cycling at a junction in Blanchardstown, Dublin, when he was knocked down by a van, the High Court heard.

Mr Doroscan, aged 33, suffered injuries including a traumatic brain injury and had amnesia for four months after the incident — he only knew he was in an incident because he was told what happened.

Mr Doroscan, of Manor Square, Ongar, Dublin, had through his wife, Madeline, sued the driver of the van, Dylan Meade, An Cosan, Lisbrack Rd, Longford; the owner of the vehicle, Sabrina McDonagh also of An Cosan, Lisbrack Rd; and the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland over the incident at a junction of the Ongar Distributor Rd and Shelerin Rd, Blanchardstown, on August 2, 2013.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told that Meade was uninsured and unlicenced at the time of the incident. 

It was claimed there was a failure to anticipate the incident and the vehicle was driven at a speed exceeding that which would have enabled it to be brought to a halt in a safe manner.

It was further claimed there was a failure to apply the brakes either adequately or at all and a failure to keep any or any adequate lookout.

In November 2015, Meade was jailed for one year after he pleaded guilty before Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to dangerous driving causing serious harm; failing to stop after an incident; driving without a licence; and driving without insurance at the Ongar Distribution Rd, Blanchardstown, on August 2, 2013.

Judge Catherine Murphy imposed a three-and-a-half-year sentence with the final two-and-a-half years suspended on strict conditions.

At that hearing, the court heard from a garda that one witness to the incident said the cyclist was thrown 8ft-10ft (2.5m-3m) in the air. A forensic collision analysis said the cyclist was hit at 57km/h.

Prosecution counsel also read a statement from Mr Doroscan in which he said he would be dead were it not for God and the doctors, but that his life and future have been destroyed.

In the High Court yesterday, Mr Doroscan’s counsel, Michael Byrne, told the judge that liability in the case was conceded except for the fact that Mr Doroscan was not wearing a cycle helmet.

Counsel said while a helmet is not legally required, it had to be taken into account in the assessment of the case and would account for about 20% contributory negligence on the part of Mr Doroscan.

Mr Byrne said Mr Doroscan was taken to hospital and later transferred to Beaumont Hospital where he underwent a decompressive craniotomy and spent a long time in intensive care.

In August 2014, Mr Doroscan was transferred to the National Rehabilitation Hospital and was diagnosed as suffering from a traumatic brain injury.

Mr Byrne said Mr Doroscan has since done exceptionally well with the support of his wife and extended family. “It has been a very difficult time for the family. Mr Doroscan has significant deficits.”

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Cross said it was a dreadful incident and he wished Mr Doroscan and his family well for the future.

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