Raymond Sweeney & Bus Atha Cliath

JurisdictionIreland
CourtSupreme Court
JudgeKeane C.J.
Judgment Date15 June 2004
Neutral Citation2004 WJSC-SC 10948
Docket Number[2000 No. 9201P; S.C. No. 89 of 2004
Date15 June 2004
RAYMOND SWEENEY & BUS ATHA CLIATH

BETWEEN

RAYMOND SWEENEY
PLAINTIFF / RESPONDENT

AND

BUS ÁTHA CLIATH / DUBLIN BUS, PAUL FLYNN AND NICHOLAS SWEENEY
DEFENDANTS / APPELLANTS

2004 WJSC-SC 10948

Keane C.J.

Denham J.

M cCracken J.

89/04

THE SUPREME COURT

Synopsis:

- [2004] 1 IR 588

Facts: the proceedings arose out of a collision between the plaintiff and a bus belonging to the first defendant and the driver of the bus. The first defendant had previously brought proceedings in the Circuit Court against the plaintiff in respect of the same accident, which proceedings were settled and the proceedings then struck out and an order for Bus Átha Cliath's costs made by the Circuit Court. The first defendant in the present proceedings submitted that the plaintiff was precluded from maintaining his claim on the ground that liability had already been determined in the earlier Circuit Court proceedings which was binding on the plaintiff. The High Court held that the plea of res judicata did not avail the first defendant. The defendants appealed to the Supreme Court.

Held by the Supreme Court (Keane CJ; Denham and McCRacken JJ) in dismissing the appeal that the requirements of a successful plea of res judicata are that the same question had been decided, that the judicial decision which was said to create the estoppel was final and that the parties to the judicial decision or their privies were the same persons as the parties to the proceedings in which the estoppel was raised.

There had been no judicial determination of the issue of liability in the prior proceedings as there had been no judgement by consent in the Circuit Court as the proceedings had been struck out on consent because they had been settled.

Reporter: P.C.

Citations:

O'GRADY V LAOIS CO COUNCIL UNREP SUPREME 18.5.1998 1998/28/11386

KINSELLA V BYRNE 1940 74 ILTR 157

1

15th day of June 2004, by Keane C.J.

Keane C.J.
2

This is an appeal from a judgment and order of the High Court (Mr. Justice O'Neill) and it arises out of proceedings which have been brought by the plaintiff against Bus Átha Cliath and two other parties. It is not in dispute that the proceedings arise out of a collision between a car which the plaintiff was driving and a bus belonging to the first named defendants and it is not in dispute that Mr. Sweeney, the plaintiff, suffered significant injuries in that accident.

3

The first named defendants, Bus Átha Cliath, brought proceedings in the first instance against the plaintiff in these proceedings in respect of the damage occasion to the bus in the accident. Those proceedings were brought in the Circuit Court and defence was delivered on behalf of the plaintiff which did not put liability in issue so that the case was proceeding as between Bus Átha Cliath and the plaintiff (the defendant as he was in those proceedings) as an assessment only. It is not in dispute that the defence was in fact delivered in that form by the insurers in that he did not participate or was not consulted about the proceedings in any way. Those proceedings were settled and, again in accordance with what has become a standard procedure, the proceedings were simply struck out by consent with an order for the payment of Bus Átha...

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