Monday, 15 March, 2010
Taxi driver Gerard McWilliams of Tallaght, County Dublin has settled an injury claim against Eircom for a twisted ankle that was hurt on a manhole.
Mr McWilliams claimed he was injured when he twisted his ankle on the edge of an old P&T steel manhole cover outside his home. Mr McWilliams said he was in immediate pain and was taken to Tallaght Hospital. He claimed that he had ongoing pain and discomfort and following initial treatment, he was eventually fitted with a plaster cast. Mr McWilliams claimed ongoing pain.
The compensation claim against Eircom stated that they were negligent and in breach of duty of care towards McWilliams in relation to their ongoing maintenance, repair, upkeep, and supervision of the manhole cover.
Unlike most cases, this injury claim was not initially settled out of court and Eircom decided to contest the injury claim to the High Court.
Barney Quirke, counsel for Eircom, questioned Mr. McWIlliams about 13 or 14 previous personal injuries claims, mentioning incidents in 1987, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, and 2001. Mr McWilliams stated that he may have been involved in 10 or 11 personal injury claims in the past but could not remember the exact details.
The number of claims by McWilliams was defended by his own counsel as “accident-prone” while McWilliams emphasized that the accidents “were not my fault”.
The court was told that McWilliams had been described by a judge in a previous injury claim case as “the luckiest or the unluckiest man” due to the number of injuries from accidents.
However, the number of past injury compensation claims has no direct influence on the validity of the current injury compensation claims, unless some intent at fraud is demonstrated. Mr McWilliams claim was professionally prepared with appropriate medical evidence and there was no proof that this particular claim was in any way incorrect.
The claim was settled out of court, like the vast majority of personal injury claims.
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