February 26, 2014

A man told how he could not carry the coffin of his dead mother to her final resting place because of a chest injury he received in a road accident.

Letterkenny court.

Letterkenny court.

Declan Orr appeared at Letterkenny Circuit Civil Court this morning where he made a personal injury claim.

The windscreen repair company owner revealed how his life had fallen apart since the accident which took place on June 22nd, 2011.

The court heard how the 48 year old was driving from Letterkenny to Kilmacrennan when he was struck side-on by another car.

Mr Orr, of Calhame, Letterkenny, received major chest injuries which he said are still affecting him today.

He revealed how he has been forced to give up motor-rallying and also Kung Fu because of pain and despite trying to take up jiving, he could not do so because of the pain.

Mr Orr revealed “My whole life fell apart after the accident. I used to do Kung Fu and my daughter drives a rally car and I used to sit on but I can’t put on a seat belt now.

“Also just before Christmas my um passed away and I couldn’t carry the coffin,” he revealed.

He said that almost three years later he still hears bubbling sounds in his chest at night and feels his chest is going to “cave in.”

He also said that he has become “very crabbed” and finds it difficult dealing with people in business.

Medical evidence was read into court stating that Mr Orr had suffered soft-tissue injury to his sternum.

Barrister Miriam Reilly for defendants Vanessa Stewart and Stephen Browne said she accepted there were injuries but she was trying to clarify the extent of the injuries.

She said that although Mr Orr had said he also had foot, shoulder, neck and arm pain, there was no medical evidence of this.

In reply Mr Orr said he simply got on with his life and took pain-killers for the other pain but his chest was his real problem.

Judge Mary Faherty said she was ruling in favour of Mr Orr.

“I am satisfied that two and half years later he hasn’t recovered although medical reports state that a gradual reduction in symptoms will be anticipated,” she said.

She awarded Mr Orr damages of €25,000 with special costs of €1,515.52 and also allowed barrister Fiona Crawford her costs.