In a recent Personal Injuries judgement Mr Justice Michael Peart awarded Padraig Hearns the sum of nearly five million euros in damages against Dublin City Council in the High Court. Mr Hearns who was a former Mr Ireland suffered severe brain injuries after he was run over by a bin lorry seven years ago in April of 2007.The Judge said that Mr Hearns night out on the 23 of April 2007 had ended in utter tragedy with the result that for the rest of his life he will be unable to live independently or be able to work again in any sort of meaningful employment.
Before being knocked down by the bin lorry Mr Hearns had been viciously assaulted and punched several times in the nose in Temple Bar Dublin.
The judge said it was unclear how Mr Hearns happened to be under the wheels of the lorry but it may have been the case that he was dazed and confused after been assaulted and fell to the ground before the truck ran over him. The Courts had been told that the five men crew in the lorry had heard the bang had not paid notice as bags and bottles were regularly thrown into the back of the truck by passers-by.
As a result of the injuries suffered the claimant fractured his skull and was b in an induced coma for over a week. The brain injury suffered was very serious and he subsequently spent several months in hospital and had suffered significant cognitive impairments and also required arm and eye operations.
The judge said that Dublin City Council had breached its duty of care that day when the lorry moved off without a man having remained outside to ensure it was safe to do so. Furthermore the Judge said that the local authorities had ignored its own bye laws implemented three months before the accident.
The judge awarded Mr. Hearns €3,435,000 euros for future care costs, €150,000 for past pain and suffering and €200,000 for future pain and suffering. He also awarded him €266,341 for loss of earnings as well as €155,230 for hospital and other care costs to date. The judge said that total damages amounted to €4,885,888 and he would award that figure along with legal costs.