Judge praises Limerick hurler awarded €31k after garda car was rammed for not exaggerating injuries.
The incident happened in October 2010.
Limerick Club hurler Garda Nigel Carey was used to the rough and tumble of the sports field and completely understated the effect of his injuries since his patrol car was rammed seven years ago, a judge has stated.
In fact, Justice Bernard Barton said, “the best medical report supporting Garda Carey’s claim for compensation comes from the Chief Medical Officer of the force who had examined him on behalf of the Minister for Public Expenditure”.
Judge Barton said he had always found Dr John Walsh of the Garda Occupational Health Service very fair in his treatment of members of the force injured in the line of duty.
Barrister Kevin D’Arcy, counsel for Garda Carey, said he had been quite an elite athlete at the time and had gone to his GP only once about his neck, shoulder and lower back injuries and followed his advice to treat them by way of physiotherapy.
Judge Barton, awarding Garda Carey €31,000 damages for personal injury against the Minister, said the dedicated officer had taken only three days off work after having been rammed in a significant impact on October 2010 by a brand new Mercedes car which they had “boxed off” following a high-speed chase.
The judge said it also stood to Garda Carey’s credit that he had not made an issue of his back injury which, he had told the court, quickly cleared up. He had made no attempt to build up more and more medical reports to make more of his injuries than was there.
“He is a tough, strong man who was at in the optimum physical fitness category at the time and had been well used to the rough and tumble of hurling,” Judge Barton said. “His injuries to his neck and shoulder were in the moderate range and he had not attempted to make them out as disabling.”
He said Garda Carey (46) had freely admitted that his hurling career was coming to a close at the time and his only claim now was that he still had a tightness in his right shoulder.
Garda Carey, of Croom, Co Limerick, told the High Court Garda compensation hearing that the official patrol car in which he had been observer on the night had been “sent flying” by the force of the impact and so badly damaged it had to be written off.
He said his neck, right shoulder and lower back had been hurt in the incident “but I was well used to the old rough and tumble so it wasn’t too bad.” He said his shoulder was still restricted but it did not impede him too much.
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