€6,000 personal injury compensation has been awarded to a rugby fan who experienced a painful bang on his head after a level crossing barrier collided with him.
The incident occurred as he was going towards the Aviva stadium to view a Leinster-Munster match on October 6, 2018. He was walking among a crowd of supporters making their way to watch the derby match.
The man in question, Dublin Fire Brigade paramedic Rod Hayden, took the legal action due the impact of being struck by the descending barrier. Mr Hayden, of Herbert Park, Bray, Co. Wicklow, informed the Judge that he was waiting for the the automatic gates of the Dart crossing at Serpentine Avenue, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, to rise and open. However, he said in response to a question from William Fitzgerald BL, that he had proceeded when the gates opened but, before he got across the tracks, he felt a bang to his head and he fell to the ground, rolling around in some pain.
The incident left Mr Hayden dizzy but, despite this, he noticed that there were some other people standing on the tracks between the closed barriers. He also was conscious, at the time, that there was a man in a high-visibility jacket at the level crossing. However he was unable to recollect hearing anything specific being said.
Due to the pain he was suffering from he attended his family doctor. he had been suffering from a headache. His doctor informed him that he was experiencing whiplash and prescribed him a course of painkillers. Mr Hayden attended his doctor on two more occasions, until his symptoms had ended by January 2019.
Iarnród Éireann’s legal counsel Brendan Savage asked him (Mr Hayden) if had had seen a warning buzzer or see warning lights. when he proceeded to cross the tracks as the barriers went up. Mr hayden said he did not.
CCTV footage of the accident was shown to the judge. In addition to this expert witness engineer Neil O’Carroll examined the scene later. He informed the Judge that, once the first barrier went up, pedestrians had six seconds before the second one started to come down. However, the crowd moved slower than this. He continued saying that the sound of the signal was also quite low and, while this might be sufficient for everyday use he would not have been loud enougbh in the hustle and bustle of a match-going crowd of people.
Judge Deirdre Gearty said Iarnród Éireann failed in its duty of care and was liable for the injuries Mr Hayden suffered.
Yesterday she delivered her verdict at Dublin District Court yesterday awarded €6,000 plus legal costs, medical and witness expenses to the plaintiff.