Van driver loses his €60k claim for damages

A 36-year-old van driver who told a court he still suffered neck stiffness four years after a minimal impact collision has lost a €60,000 claim for damages.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane told Darren Byrne in the Circuit Civil Court that she found the driver he sued for personal injuries to be “a more truthful witness”.

The judge said the account of the incident as related by defendant Michelle Byrne, no relation of the plaintiff, was more likely what had happened in the car park at Liffey Valley Shopping Centre, Clondalkin, Co Dublin, in November 2013.

The court heard Ms Byrne, of La Touche road, Bluebell, Dublin, had just reversed out of a parking space when the plaintiff’s Ford Transit van backed out of his space and struck her Nissan Note with his tow bar. He had ignored the beeping of her horn.

The court was told there was “no damage whatsoever” to the van and only a dent to the rear wheel arch of the Nissan.

The court also heard Mr Byrne, of Greenfort Crescent, Clondalkin, still suffered neck stiffness now four years after the accident in which both parties accused the other of reversing into their vehicle.

Judge Linnane said Mr Byrne had claimed his van never moved before the Nissan Note struck his tow bar.

She said photographs of the damage to Ms Byrne’s car were not consistent with Mr Byrne’s account of what had occurred.

The judge said a picture Ms Byrne had taken on her phone clearly showed that the van had moved out of its parking space “and not just by a little bit”.

Dismissing Mr Byrne’s claim and awarding costs against him, Judge Linnane said: “I find Ms Byrne the more truthful witness.”


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