McLaughlin v McDaid

Court of Appeal, 24th January 2018, Irvine, Hogan & Whelan JJ

David McLaughlin v Damien McDaid, Michael McDaid, Charles McDaid, McDaid Quarries Ltd and the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland [2018] IECA 5

C.S. Kelly & Co, solicitors for the plaintiff

Unknown solicitors for the defendants

Background

The second, third and fourth defendants, Michael McDaid, Charles McDaid and McDaid Quarries Ltd, appealed to the Court of Appeal against the judgment and order of the High Court (Hanna J) dated the 10th December 2015 whereby the plaintiff/respondent, David McLaughlin, recovered damages in the sum of €453,000 and costs as against each of them. The trial judge also awarded Mr McLaughlin his costs to be taxed in default of agreement. The proceedings concerned injuries sustained by Mr McLaughlin to his right foot on the 26th June 2003 at a quarry at Crislaghkeel, Burnfoot, County Donegal which the trial judge found belonged to one or more of the appellants.

Outcome

The findings of fact made by the trial judge, which were principally made based on his assessment of the credibility of the witnesses who gave evidence before him, could not on the facts of this case, be disturbed. She was also satisfied that the matters relied upon by Hanna J as the basis for his refusal to dismiss Mr McLaughlin’s claim under s. 26 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 were material to the proper exercise by him of his discretion and when taken together provided good and sufficient reason to support his decision that it would have been unjust in all of the circumstances to have dismissed his claim. As to the sums awarded by the trial judge in respect of special damages to date and into the future, Irvine J held that the same were clearly supported by the evidence and could not by reason of that fact be successfully challenged. As to sums awarded in respect of damages for pain and suffering to date and into the future, she was satisfied that the same were just, fair and proportionate having regard to the injuries sustained by Mr McLaughlin and were also proportionate when considered in the context of the scheme of awards commonly made by the courts in respect of injuries of a greater or lesser intensity. Irvine J held that she would dismiss the appeals.

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