O'Sullivan v Dwyer

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeWalsh J.
Judgment Date15 May 1972
Neutral Citation1965 WJSC-SC 270
CourtSupreme Court
Docket Number[1966. No. 14 P.],(89-1969)
Date15 May 1972

1965 WJSC-SC 270

THE SUPREME COURT

Ó Dálaigh C.J.

Walsh J.

FitzGerald J.

(89-1969)
O'SULLIVAN v. DWYER
O'SULLIVAN
Plaintiff

and

DWYER
1

Motion by plaintiff for Order confirming that pursuant to Order of Supreme Court dated 12th March 1971 he is entitled to judgment for £17,414.40 (being the net sum for damages other than general damages awarded to him in the High Court) together with interest on the said sum from the date of the High Court judgment.

2

Judgment of Walsh J. (nem. diss.) Judgment of High Court upheld in every respect save heading of general damages. Once a matter finally adjudicated upon and money due on foot of it under a court order there is then a judgment for amount due and interest is payable as from the time it is due. Dismissal of appeal in respect of all items save general damages meant all other sums of money were due as from the date of the High Court judgment.

3

In an action for damages for negligence heard before the President of the High Court and a jury in Cork from July 17th to 22nd 1969, the jury awarded a total sum of £64,014 damages and apportioned the degrees of fault between the parties by attributing 60% to the defendant and 40% to the plaintiff. Judgment was thereupon entered for the plaintiff in the sum of £38,414. 8s. Of the total sum of £64,014, £35,000 was awarded by the jury for general damages.

4

The defendant appealed against the findings both as to liability and as to damages. The appeal was heard by this Court and judgment in it was given on the 12th March, 1971. The Court dismissed the appeal on the question of liability.

5

During the hearing of the appeal on the question of damages the defendant abandoned his appeal in respect of all the damages awarded save the general damages. It is to be noted that the jury had assessed damages under four headings, namely, out of pocket expenses, for which they awarded £5,500; future loss of earnings and pension, for which they awarded £17,588; and cost of nursing in the future and cost of housing, £5,936. The fourth item was general damages which was assessed at £35,000. On the basis of the plaintiff having had attributed to him 40% of the fault the sum to which he was entitled under the first three headings was £17,414.40p. The sum of £35,000 for general damages was held by this Court to have been excessive and a re-trial on that issue only was directed.

6

On the 5th May, 1971, a cheque for the said sum of £17,414.40p was paid to the solicitor for the plaintiff by the solicitors for the defendant. The plaintiff held he was entitled to interest on the sum from the date of the trial in the High Court which is calculated as amounting to £1,256.20p. The plaintiff's solicitor had in fact demanded that interest on the 18th March, 1971, which was six days following the delivery of the judgment by this Court in the matter. The defendant has not paid this sum.

7

A judgment debt of the High Court or the Supreme Court carries interest at 4% from the date of the judgment's pronouncement. This is the result of sections 26 and 27 of the Debtors (Ireland) Act, 1840, and the Rules of the Superior Courts. Section 26 of the Act provides that every judgment debt due upon any judgment not confessed or recovered for any penal sum for securing principal and interest shall carry interest at the rate of £4 per cent per annum from the time of entering up the judgment, or from the time of the commencement of the Act, in cases of judgments then entered up and not carrying interest, until the same shall be satisfied. Section 27 of the Act...

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  • Davy v Avonmore Creameries Ltd
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1 books & journal articles
  • The civil liabilities acts' (3rd Ed.) (Thomson Round Hall, 2005) Anthony Kerr
    • Ireland
    • Irish Judicial Studies Journal No. 1-6, January 2006
    • 1 January 2006
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