Cyclist teacher hit by truck awarded over €142k

A €142,800 award has been made to a Polish teacher who was struck by the rear of a truck as he cycled past it on a narrow footpath on the lorry driver’s left-hand side.

The defence had contested that the cyclist was not standing at the relevant time but was cycling by on the footpath, when he wobbled and struck against the back of the truck as it was almost past. The plaintiff said he was standing still with the bike between his legs.

Mr Justice Daniel Herbert said in his judgment that he found as a fact the plaintiff was cycling at the material time. However, he made no finding of contributory negligence against the cyclist.

Jacek Fortuna, aged 52, who was working in Ireland at the time of the incident six years ago, brought the case against Tadhg Scannell and Christy Lucey Transport, the driver and owner, respectively, of the truck.

The incident happened by a bridge west of Ballyvourney village, Co Cork, at 6pm on November 3, 2008, at a time when he was living at nearby Ballymakeera.

Mr Justice Herbert awarded €87,500 for general damages to date, €10,000 for future risk of arthritis in the injured leg, and special damages — mainly loss of income — of €45,300.

The judge said it was not part of his decision in the case but referred to barrister Elizabeth O’Connell’s suggestion the caution to be shown by the plaintiff should have been similar to that shown to a mother with a child in a buggy using the path at the time.

“That is really by way of illustration. It brings home the circumstances faced by this driver who should have slowed down to a walking pace or stopped entirely to let this plaintiff go by,” Mr Justice Herbert said.

The judge said at the High Court sitting in Cork: “I am quite satisfied this was a major trauma.”


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