€64,000 award after bicycle accident.

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A man who suffered a serious back injury, when his bicycle slipped on a road where excessive bitumen sealant had been used in repair work, has been awarded €64,000 by the High Court.  Ms Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon said it was clear the man suffered severe pain and a loss of the amenities of life to a significant degree as a result of the accident.  He was also in extreme pain for nine months and had significant pain and suffering for two years, she said.  The claimant sued the local authority which is responsible for the upkeep of the road.  He also sued the company that carried out work on the road.  Finding both the local authority and the company liable, the judge said it seemed to the court they accepted evidence put forward on behalf of the plaintiff that there was faulty workmanship in terms of the original work on the road and the repair.  A similar incident had occurred elsewhere on the road which had been witnessed by a person who gave evidence in this case, the judge said.  The company carried out the remedial works and did so without ensuring it was done to the correct standard in line with the correct specifications, she said.  Ms Justice O’Hanlon said the council was also negligent because it could have been reasonably foreseen that such patching negligently done, in breach of the regulations, would cause an accident. The council was aware there had been a similar accident on the road, she said.  The court heard about 17 people were cycling two abreast on the hard shoulder, including the claimant who was wearing a helmet. As he approached a curve on the road, he was caused to slip and fall from his bike suddenly and without warning.  The judge said the plaintiff had given his evidence carefully and honestly and did not exaggerate his situation.  It was quite clear and there was no real dispute between the engineers in the case that the bitumen sealant was not in accordance with the National Roads Authority specifications.  It was the duty of both the local authority and the company to ensure the contract was fulfilled in line with the specifications, she said.