Passengers on the Éireann bus were awarded 126,000 euros after injuring their backs when the driver abruptly slowed down to avoid a collision

The Supreme Court awarded more than 126,000 euros to a passenger for injuries after the bus she was traveling on suddenly slowed down to avoid a collision.

Justice Emily Egan found that the Éireann Bus driver was not driving carefully at the time of the incident and that the abrupt stop request came about in a “completely avoidable” emergency due to the defendant’s self-control. show.

Mother of two, Jennifer Quaid (38), of O’Malley Park, Limerick, sued the company over an incident on March 19, 2014, which she claims left her with a nagging wound in her heart. back.

The judge ruled Bus Éireann had breached duty and there was no negligence on the part of Miss Quaid, who was sitting at the time of the incident.

Justice Egan gave the circumstances of the incident, which occurred as the bus drove from a smaller street onto Roxboro Road in Limerick.

Camera footage shows the bus having passed a stop sign and corresponding line, slowing to 2 km/h at the edge of Roxboro Road.

A further view camera showed the driver looking in both directions and the vehicle sped up to about 11km/h as it neared the middle of the road for a right turn.

It seems the driver didn’t initially notice an approaching vehicle in the far lane, she said. When the bus crossed the middle line, the driver stepped on the brake and the car turned left to avoid it.

The judge said the footage showed the reaction of passengers on the bus “very delicate”.

Ms. Quaid appeared to raise the lower part of her left arm toward the head of the front seat, the judge said.

The camera angle makes it difficult to tell if her torso was moving forward or backward at the time of the brake failure, although if it did it would only happen to a small extent, she said.

Ms. Quaid said she suffered a back injury from a strong jolt when the bus driver braked sharply to avoid a collision, the judge said.

The Éireann bus denied negligence, although it accepted heavier-than-usual braking force was applied to prevent accidents, the judge noted. Miss Quaid could not be injured as a result of this event.

Ms Quaid had previously been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and had twice seen her doctor complaining of back discomfort. The judge accepted her pre-existing degenerative condition made her more vulnerable.

Medical experts on both sides agree, violent or non-violent, that the tremors she experienced were most likely the cause of Quaid’s later difficulties.

She went to the doctor within 48 hours of the incident and a few months later, was referred to an orthopedic consultant, who discovered she had a bulging disc in her spine.

Despite various treatments, the pain continued, and an examination in March 2021 revealed that she continued to have chronic low back pain, secondary to pain, and pain radiating down her left leg.

The court was pleased that Ms. McQuaid did not attempt to exaggerate the extent of her disability.

The judge will not criticize the bus driver for not stopping at the stop line, where it is acceptable that visibility is obstructed.

It is also acceptable for drivers to stop at the mouth of the junction for better visibility or, in a bulky bus, to stop at the middle line of the road to let traffic coming from the left pass. Okay.

However, it was “unacceptable” for a bus to cross a white line into an oncoming vehicle’s lane, where the driver should have seen it clearly, she said.

Mrs Justice Egan awarded Ms Quaid a general damages award of €125,000 along with a special damages award of €1,550 as per the agreement. Passengers on the Éireann bus were awarded 126,000 euros after injuring their backs when the driver abruptly slowed down to avoid a collision

Fry Electronics Team

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