A High Court judge has awarded a County Wicklow man almost €5 million injury compensation for an accident with a bin truck which left him permanently brain damaged.
On 23 April 2007, Padraig Hearns was having a night out in Dublin when he was attacked in Sycamore Street in the city´s Temple Bar area. As he lay on the road, he was run over by a Dublin City Council bin truck and suffered a fractured skull.
Padraig (39) from Hollywood in County Wicklow had to be put into an induced coma on arrival at hospital, and spent several months recovering from his injuries. Due to the brain damage he suffered in the accident Padraig – a former air steward for British Airways – will never be able to work again or live an independent life.
Through his parents Padraig made a claim against Dublin City Council to recover injury compensation for the accident with the bin truck. Dublin City Council denied its responsibility for Padraig´s injuries and said it was not the fault of the bin truck operators that Padraig had been attacked and was lying in the road.
The claim proceeded to the High Court, where it was heard before Mr Justice Michael Peart. Judge Peart found in Padraig´s favour after hearing that the local authority had broken its own by-laws by collecting rubbish in Temple Bar between the hours of 12:00pm and 6:00pm.
Judge Peart also considered that the operators of the bin truck had a duty of care to have one of their team outside of the truck as it moved on, in order to ensure it was safe to do so. The judge found that the bin truck operators had breached their duty of care by failing to see Padraig lying in the path of their vehicle.
The judge awarded Padraig €4,885,888 injury compensation for the accident with the bin truck which included €266,341 for loss of earnings, €155,230 for care costs to date, €350,000 for past and present pain and suffering and €3,485,000 for care costs in the future. Costs were awarded against Dublin City Council.