Bus hero who saved elderly passenger settles €38k claim

Eddie Martin: Risked life to help passengers. Picture: Courtpix

A man who risked life and injury to assist an elderly passenger and others from a bus that had become engulfed in flames has settled his €38,000 damages claim against Bus Éireann.

Bernadette Kirby, counsel for Eddie Martin, aged 44, of Cypress Gardens, Bay Estate, Dundalk, Co Louth, told the Circuit Civil Court that his claim had been settled following talks.

The settlement figure was not divulged in court.

Ms Kirby, who appeared with McGuill Solicitors, said it had been agreed Mr Martin should be awarded his legal costs.

Mr Martin, who is a facilities team member with Dublin Airport Authority, braved swirling flames and thick black smoke in the Dublin-Dundalk Express to render assistance and escape to an elderly woman.

Having been seated at the back of the bus where the fire broke out in the engine department, Mr Martin was last to leave the bus and was one of the worst affected by fumes. The bus had caught fire near the toll bridge at Drogheda, Co Meath, on July 10, 2012.

In his claim, Mr Martin said he travelled daily on the Dundalk-bound express which that morning had left Dublin Airport at 7.30am.

He claimed the spread of the fire was such that the rear of the bus quickly became engulfed in flames and dense smoke. The bus had been burned to a shell.

He had been unable to avail of the rear emergency exit door and as he made his way to the front had stopped to assist the elderly woman and other passengers, which, he claimed, had exposed him for longer to smoke inhalation and the life-threatening emergency and traumatic scene.

During the evacuation, he had encountered scenes of panic and distress among other passengers and afterwards had been treated by his family doctor for severe traumatic anxiety.

He missed work for a short period.

Jeri Ward, who appeared with Donal O’Hagan solicitors, for Bus Éireann stated in a defence to Mr Martin’s claim that the bus company did not require him to produce proof of the outbreak of fire but maintained the driver had reacted in a proper manner to the emergency.

Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, on consent, struck out the proceedings with an award of costs.


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