O'Leary v O'Connell

Judgment Date05 March 1968
Date05 March 1968
Docket Number[1965. No. 1844 P.]
CourtSupreme Court

Interference with award of jury - Damages - Whether excessive - Personal injuries - Need for additional evidence - Whether jury should distinguish heads of damage - Rules of the Superior Courts, 1962, O.58, r. 8.

The plaintiff was walking across a road when he was struck by the defendant's motor-cycle and the plaintiff's leg was broken. The trial judge refused to allow the introduction of evidence of an agreed actuarial calculation of the plaintiff's loss of earnings. The jury found that both parties had been negligent, apparently upon the ground that each party had failed to keep a proper look-out. The jury assessed damages at £5,000 (of which £2,000 could be regarded as general damages) and apportioned 85% of the fault to the defendant and 15% to the plaintiff. It was not clear whether the jury had found that the defendant was driving at an excessive speed, but it was clear that they had not found that the plaintiff would be virtually unemployable in the future. Held by the Supreme Court ( Ó Dálaigh C.J., Haugh and Walsh JJ.), 1, that the jury's apportionment of fault should be allowed to stand as it was not grossly disproportionate in the light of the facts established by the evidence. Donoghue v. BurkeIR [1960] I.R. 314 applied. 2. That the amount of the damages awarded was neither grossly excessive nor grossly inadequate. 3. That the plaintiff should not be given liberty to adduce further evidence. PerWalsh J.: —(a) ". . . it would be of great assistance to this Court, and indeed to the parties, in cases of this nature if the jury were to be instructed to make specific...

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7 cases
  • Arnott v O'Keeffe
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 30 March 1977
    ...not be a justification for upholding the jury's verdict and as in that case such a verdict had to be set aside. In O'Leary v. O'Connell 1968 I.R. 149 which was an appeal dealing mainly with the jury's apportionment of fault, the following passage appears in the decision of the Court at page......
  • Rossiter v Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 31 October 2001
    ...160 FOLEY V THERMOCEMENT LTD 1954 90 ILRM 92 DUNNE V HO0NEYWELL CONTROL SYSTEMS LTD UNREP SUPREME 1.7.1993 1993/7/1960 O'LEARY V O'CONNELL 1968 IR 149 1 31st day of October, 2001 byFENNELLY FENNELLY J. 2 The infant plaintiff, Paul Rossiter, has, for practical purposes, lost the sight of his......
  • Roche v P. Kelly & Company Ltd
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 27 March 1969
    ...adduce any evidence of his present earning capacity so as to enable his future loss of earnings to be calculated. O'Leary v. O'ConnellIR [1968] I.R. 149 considered. Supreme Court [1964. No. 1072 P.] Roche v. P. Kelly & Co. Ltd. PATRICK ROCHE Plaintiff and PATRICK KELLY AND COMPANY LIMITED D......
  • Carroll v Clare County Council
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 18 December 1975
    ...evidence, and that 70% of the fault should be attributed to the plaintiff. Murphy v. CroninIR [1966] I.R. 699 and O'Learyv. O'ConnellIR [1968] I.R. 149 considered. 4. That, where a plaintiff claims compensation for (a) loss of earnings and/or (b) pain and suffering in respect of periods bef......
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