Posted: June 2nd, 2017
Two claims for whiplash injuries on the M1 have been resolved at the Circuit Civil Court after the negligent party withdrew its defence against the claim.
The claims for whiplash injuries on the M1 were made by a woman and her mother, who had been travelling from Dublin to Newry in a family group on a pre-Christmas shopping expedition in November 2013. As the woman drove along the M1 at a speed on about 80KMph, the sun roof blew off her recently-purchased Toyota, creating a noise described as “like a bomb going off in the car”.
The woman applied the brakes of the car sharply, causing all five adult occupants of the car to suffer whiplash-type injuries. The woman´s mother was the worse injured of the group – suffering a compression fracture of a vertebrae in her lower back as well as soft tissue damage. Two children travelling in the family group escaped injury due to being strapped into child seats.
The five injured occupants of the car made individual claims for whiplash injuries on the M1 against the car showroom from which the Toyota had been purchased – Denis Mahony Limited. The family members alleged in their legal action that the sun roof had been faulty at the time the car was purchased, and the accident in which they were injured was directly related to the faulty sun roof.
Liability for the injuries was denied, and two of the claims for whiplash injuries on the M1 were recently heard by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court. At the hearing, Judge Groarke was told by an independent motor assessor that corrosion surrounding the frame of the sun roof should have been notice in a pre-sale inspection and attended to before the car was sold to the family.
The assessor testified that the advanced state of the corrosion led to the sun roof blowing off and the accident would have been avoided if the fault had been identified and rectified in a timely manner. Following the assessor´s testimony, Denis Mahony Limited withdrew its defence against the claims for whiplash injuries on the M1 – leaving Judge Groarke only to assess the amount of damages.
The judge awarded €25,000 compensation to the woman who suffered the compression fracture, and €12,500 to her daughter, who had not suffered such severe injuries and who had made a full recovery. The three remaining claims for whiplash injuries on the M1 – made by other family members injured in the accident – will now likely be settled out of court.