Exaggeration of Injury Rejected by Court

A pensioner was injured while travelling on a bus when it collided with another bus. The pensioner claimed €20,000 from the two bus companies for severe injuries to his neck. The accident happened in 2016 and he claimed that more than five years later that he still suffered intermittent burning pain in his right trapezius area.

The court was shown CCTV of the incident when the collision happened where the pensioner was sitting on the back seat of the bus which showed a gentle swaying of his knees and lower legs at the moment of collision.

The judge was not satisfied that the impact was anything greater than a minimal grazing between the two buses and while the CCTV did not show the head or shoulders of the pensioner, who had his hands on his lap and not braced as he claimed, there was no evidence of sudden movement of any kind by other passengers. Medical evidence for the pensioner seemed to verify the incident shown on the CCTV and was not consistent with a muscle strain that he complained of for several years later. Accordingly, the judge dismissed the case.

The case was heard in the Circuit Court so the loss of the case will cost the pensioner plaintiff a sum of around €20,000. This is the risk people take when litigation is commenced. It is especially important when taking cases to solicitors that proof of injury can be established in a court and that the injury is directly linked to the acts of negligence complained of.

• Browne v Bus Eireann and Carrig Coaches Circuit Court (Judge Crowe) January 2022.

Carbon Copy of Will Admitted to Probate
Thomas Delahunty died in March 2015, his wife had predeceased him, and they had no children. In April 1980 he gave a handwritten note to his solicitors for his will to be drawn up. The solicitor duly carried out his instructions, the will was executed and placed in the solicitor’s safe. In 1997 the solicitor’s office suffered a burglary where the safe was taken with its contents and never recovered. Consequently, there was no original will. The deceased nephew, Philip Kinsella applied to the court to admit to probate a carbon copy of the will. If accepted, his nephew would be the principal beneficiary of the will. If it was not accepted into probate, then the deceased would be treated as having died intestate and a good number of nephews and nieces would benefit. A number of the people who would benefit if the decision was that the deceased died intestate, supported the application of Philip Kinsella.
The carbon copy of the will was found by another nephew in a box of personal papers in the attic of the deceased house.
The High Court judge was satisfied from the available evidence that an original will in the same terms of the carbon copy, despite not having signatures on it, was duly executed by the deceased. The judge ruled that it was professionally prepared by a solicitor on the basis of the client’s instructions and there was indirect evidence from the law firm supporting this. Based on this the judge admitted the carbon copy to probate.
Estate of Delahunty, Application by Kinsella v Succession Act, 1965 657


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