A crime victim, who survived being run over by a car and then shot twice by the driver, brought a €60,000 damages claim against a bus company for injuries he received when knocked off his bike almost a year before the attempt on his life.
Awarding Edward Staunton €7,500 damages for injuries he received in the bus incident, Judge James O’Donohue said the court was unable to determine the extent to which his subsequent suffering related to his bicycle accident or the hit-and-run incident, which occurred 10 months later.
Staunton’s bus accident happened in Parnell Street, Dublin, in June 2016 when part of the Luas rail system was being laid and road works were in progress. He told the court the bus had been passing roadworks at the time and had sideswiped him.
Staunton, of Clareville Grove, Glasnevin, Dublin 9, claimed he had suffered injuries to his lower back and right thigh. He sued Matthews Coach Hire Limited, with offices at Callenberg, Inniskeen, Monaghan, which had contested his claims and alleged through its counsel Conor Kearney he had accidentally cycled into the back of the bus.
Judge O’Donohue said he was satisfied the bus driver had not seen Mr Staunton’s bicycle until noticing it lying on the road following the collision and had heard Mr Staunton shouting at him.
He felt the bus driver, a Mr Eamon Lynch who now works as a truck driver, may have been more concerned with the roadworks he was passing at the time. The court was satisfied with Mr Staunton’s version of what happened and found fully in his favour.
“The difficulty in this case is that some time afterwards he went through a frightening attempted murder in a serious armed attack in which he suffered a shooting and a running over and it is very hard to separate out the injuries sustained in both the bus incident and the running over,” Judge O’Donohue said.
The judge said Mr Staunton’s injuries were soft tissue in nature and would award him damages of €7,500 and costs at the District Court level with a certificate for counsel and the forensic engineer who had attended court but whose evidence was deemed unnecessary.
At the time of the shooting incident it was widely reported that Staunton was cycling along James Joyce Street when he was hit by a car and run over at the junction of Sean McDermott Street. He ran from the scene into Railway Street. While receiving first aid the driver of the car chased him and shot him twice.
Gardaí at the time said they were attempting to establish if the shooting was linked to the Kinahan-Hutch feud as Mr Staunton was related to the Hutch family, although he was not believed to be part of the feud.