Ex-boxer faces €20k bill after withdrawing injuries claim

A 29-year-old former international amateur boxer and champion bare-fist fighter faces a €20,000 legal costs bill after withdrawing a Circuit Civil Court claim for personal injuries allegedly suffered in a road traffic accident.

Martin Stokes, who has won four national gold medals as a super heavy weight, claimed damages of up to €60,000 against Robert Czarnocki after their cars collided on January 29, 2012, on Naas Rd, Dublin.

Mr Stokes, a carpenter with an address at Oldcastlepark Green, Clondalkin, Dublin, alleged that Mr Czarnocki failed to brake in time and rear-ended his car.

He claimed he suffered headaches and pain in his right shoulder and lower back and had attended the A&E Department of Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown, Dublin.

He alleged he had suffered soft-tissue injuries to his shoulder and back and had needed to have several physiotherapy sessions. He claimed that his work and social and recreational activities had been disturbed.

Mr Czarnocki, of Drogheda, Co Louth, denied liability and alleged the accident had been caused by Mr Stokes’s driving.

Mr Czarnocki claimed Mr Stokes was driving in an erratic and unpredictable manner and had stopped his car “for no good traffic management reason”. Circuit Court president Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told by barrister Bernadette Kirby that Mr Stokes was withdrawing his claim.

Ms Kirby said the case was a personal injuries matter relating to a road traffic accident and liability was being contested. She said Mr Stokes was a man of personal limited means who would not be able to pay legal costs. She asked that no order for costs be made against him.

Barrister Michael Murray said Aviva Insurance had come to court to fully defend the case and had invested time and expense in investigating the claim. Liability was fully in issue.

Judge Groarke awarded legal costs, estimated at over €20,000, against Mr Stokes.

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