Man loses damages action over bum slap claim

A 49-year old man who claimed his life was ruined after a bread delivery man allegedly slapped him on the bum has lost his High Court action for damages.

Dismissing John Rice’s case Mr Justice Kevin Cross said the former retail security officer would probably go to his grave believing an injustice had occurred but he advised him “to put matters behind him”.

Mr Rice, Parkview, Brackenstown Road, Swords, Dublin, who represented himself in court, now faces a hefty legal bill after costs of the three-day action were awarded against him.

Mr Rice, the judge said, had not worked since the incident and has been on social welfare ever since and he believed “ that his life has effectively been ruined by the incident”.

The judge said prior to the alleged incident the relationship between the two was one of “banter, high fives and back slapping”.

 John Rice, of Park View, Brackenstown Road, Swords, Co Dublin, who now faces a hefty legal bill after costs were awarded against him. Pictures: Collins Courts
John Rice, of Park View, Brackenstown Road, Swords, Co Dublin, who now faces a hefty legal bill after costs were awarded against him. Pictures: Collins Courts

Mr Rice had sued bread delivery man Alan Muddiman, Rinawade Green, Leixlip Manor, Leixlip, Co Kildare, over the alleged battery as Mr Muddiman made a delivery to a Tesco store at Roselawn Centre, Blancharstown, Dublin, in July 2009.

He claimed he suffered severe personal injuries when Mr Muddiman allegedly assaulted him as he was checking in the produce being delivered. He claimed he was punched in the buttocks and right hip with a closed fist.

Mr Rice also alleged there had been a previous similar type incident with Mr Muddiman. He said that prior to this he had resurfacing surgery on his hips and after the alleged assault he suffered pain to the lower back, right buttock and numbness in his legs.

 Alan Muddiman, of Rinawade Green, Leixlip Manor, Leixlip, Co Kildare, at the Four Courts during a High Court action for damages taken by John Rice against him.
Alan Muddiman, of Rinawade Green, Leixlip Manor, Leixlip, Co Kildare, at the Four Courts during a High Court action for damages taken by John Rice against him.

Mr Muddiman denied the claims.

Dismissing the case Mr Justice Cross said

he had watched CCTV footage of the incident a number of times and it did not support the view that a vicious blow with a clenched fist had been delivered.

Mr Rice had claimed that because of an alleged previous incident he had withdrawn his implied consent “to that sort of thing”.

Mr Justice Cross said he believed the probable result of the incident was encapsulated in one medical report that said Mr Rice suffered post traumatic adjustment disorder and depression afterwards.

Mr Justice Cross said if Mr Muddiman had been told not to touch Mr Rice, he did not think he would have slapped him as he did.


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