Wilders v Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI)

JudgeMr. Justice Barr
Judgment Date13 March 2018
Neutral Citation[2018] IEHC 126
Docket Number[2017 No. 1194 P]
CourtHigh Court
Date13 March 2018

[2018] IEHC 126


Barr J.

[2017 No. 1194 P]


Tort – Road traffic accident – Personal injury – Damages & restitution – Finding of facts – Special damages – General damages

Facts: The plaintiff suffered injuries in a road accident for which he had claimed special damages. The plaintiff contended that he had extensive physiotherapy treatment since the time of the accident and that was still continuing and that had cost him a huge sum. The plaintiff contended that he had suffered consistent pain in the knees, and from medical examination, it was clear that there was no sign of full recovery from the injuries in the future.

Mr. Justice Barr awarded the plaintiff a sum for pain and sufferings together with general damages for future pain and suffering in addition to an agreed sum for special damages between the parties. The Court found that the plaintiff had given the evidence in a clear and straightforward manner, supporting the claim for special damages. The Court took into account the restricted lifestyle that the plaintiff was leading owing to the nature of his injuries and the necessity of expenditure on the ongoing medical treatment in the future.

JUDGMENT of Mr. Justice Barr delivered on the 13th day of March 2018

This action arises out of an accident which occurred in the grounds of St. James's Hospital on 8th July, 2015. The plaintiff, who works as a medical devices engineer at the hospital, was crossing a pedestrian crossing when he was struck by a car travelling on the wrong side of the road. When he saw the car approach, the plaintiff jumped a little into the air, but was hit on the right leg, causing injury to the right leg, right hip and right knee. The driver of the vehicle did not stop. Liability is not in issue in these proceedings.


The plaintiff is 34 years of age having been born on 5th October, 1983. He lives with his partner and his son, who is 12 years of age. As a result of the impact with the vehicle, the plaintiff was thrown onto the bonnet and then fell onto the ground. He was attended by two people who worked in the hospital and a pedestrian. They brought him into the Accident & Emergency Department. He complained of pain in the right hip, right leg and knee. Examination of the right hip revealed a small bruise over the right iliac crest. Examination of the right hip revealed a full range of movement with no bony tenderness. Examination of the right knee revealed tenderness around the antero-medial aspect of the joint line. There was no evidence of swelling or joint effusion. A clinical impression was made of soft tissue injuries to the affected areas. He was discharged on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.


After the accident, the plaintiff took two weeks annual leave. Thereafter, he did not miss any further time from work. He stated that in the weeks immediately after the accident, his right leg, right hip and right knee were particularly painful. His leg was very swollen. Things gradually improved. When reviewed by Dr. Maguire in the Emergency Department at St. James's Hospital on 9th October, 2015, he stated that the injuries to the right hip and thigh areas had gone on to make a full recovery. However, he complained of ongoing pain in the right knee. This was associated with intermittent episodes of locking and a feeling of instability in the knee. Pain was exacerbated by ascending or descending stairs. Physical examination of the knee was largely normal, as was examination of the collateral ligaments, but his medial and lateral McMurrays test was equivocal. Due to his ongoing knee symptoms, Dr. Maguire felt that the plaintiff needed an MRI scan.


An MRI scan was carried out on 9th June, 2016 which revealed that the menisci and intra-articular cartilages were intact. However, there was evidence of an osseous defect in the inter-condylar articulating cartilage of the femur.


The plaintiff stated that he continued to experience symptoms of pain in his knees and in particular in his right knee. He had tried to resume playing 5-a-side soccer in or about October/November 2017, but found that when he did so, his knee would swell and become very painful on the following day. For this reason, he had had to give that up. He stated that prior to the accident he had been a keen soccer player, who had been part of the Ladyswell United team which had won a number of Leinster titles. He had also taken part in training his son's under-13 Gaelic football team. While he could continue in that role, he was not able to participate in active drills during training, nor could he run up and down the touchline during matches.


The plaintiff stated that he had had extensive physiotherapy treatment since the time of the accident. Such treatment is continuing. To date, he had spent approximately €1,730 on physiotherapy treatment, which had been fully vouched in his claim for Special Damages. He stated that at present, he continues to experience low grade pain in the knee which can be particularly sore at the end of a long day at work, or after prolonged sitting or driving. As regards the future, the plaintiff stated that Mr. Gary O'Toole, consultant orthopaedic surgeon, had advised him in conversation that an arthroscopy may be necessary at some time in the future. However, the plaintiff accepted that that was not contained in his medical report which had been agreed in evidence, but was merely something that he had stated to him in...

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1 cases
  • Kampff v Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 25 June 2018
    ...damages in personal injury cases.' Similar statements have been made by the High Court in other recent cases, see Wilders v. MIBI [2018] IEHC 126 at para 15; Flannery v. HSE [2018] IEHC 127 at para 35; Whelan v. Castle Leslie [2018] IEHC 125 at para 65 Since the Court of Appeal judgments......

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