JUDGE AWARDS COMPENSATION FOR INJURIES DUE TO A FAULTY SUN ROOF

27th June 2017

A judge at the Circuit Civil Court has awarded a total of €37,500 compensation for injuries due to a faulty sun roof to mother and daughter plaintiffs.

In November 2013, the two plaintiffs were part of a family group driving from Dublin to Newry for a pre-Christmas shopping expedition. As they travelled along the M1 at a speed of 80-90kmph, the sun roof blew off, causing a noise described in court as “a bomb going off in the car”. The driver of the car braked sharply, causing the adult members of the family group to suffer whiplash-type injuries.

The driver of the car – a recently purchased Toyota – and her 72-year-old mother claimed compensation for injuries due to a faulty sun roof. They alleged in their claim against Denis Mahony Limited that the sun roof had been faulty at the time the car was purchased, the fault should have been identified and rectified in a pre-sales inspection, and the undiscovered fault had been attributable to their injuries.

Mahony´s denied the sun roof had been faulty at the time the Toyota was purchased and contested the claims for compensation for injuries due to a faulty sun roof. However, at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin last week, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard from an independent car assessor, who found extensive corrosion surrounding the remaining frame of the sun roof. The assessor testified that the corrosion was so bad it would have been apparent in any adequate pre-sales inspection of the vehicle.

Judge Groarke said it was reasonable to expect the car to be fit for purpose, of merchantable quality and free from defects at the time it was purchased. He added that he accepted the sun roof blowing off would have been a terrifying experience understood why the driver had applied the brakes sharply. He found in favour of mother and daughter plaintiffs, and awarded the driver of the car €12,500 compensation for injuries due to a faulty sun roof and her mother – who had suffered a compressed fracture of a vertebrae in the accident – €25,000 compensation.

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