Tipperary woman who injured back in fall from bike awarded €66,000 against county council

A woman who fell off her bike hurting her back when it skidded as she cycled near her Tipperary home has been awarded €66,000 by the High Court.

Ms Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon said it was clear the design of construction of the lane in Clonmel where Nuala Ryan was cycling caused a nuisance and the “negligent reinstatement” which was never completed fully caused the accident.

The judge found the stones and the debris on the surface of the lane was “a nuisance and a danger to the public.”

Nuala Ryan, 61, St Bernadette’s Terrace, Clonmel, Co Tipperary had sued Tipperary County Council over the accident on a laneway near her home on January 4, 2014.

Her side claimed Mrs Ryan’s injuries were not caused by the Council’s failure to repair the laneway, but by alleged negligent design and construction which it was claimed created a nuisance.

The Council denied the claims and contended the stones on which Mrs Ryan came to harm were identified as either the breakup of the laneway or infill material used in the repair of potholes by third parties and as a result it claimed no liability could attach to the Council.

Mrs Ryan told the court her bicycle skidded on pebbles on the lane way and she fell off.

She said she was trapped and could not move and two girls had to help her.

Mrs Ryan was brought to hospital where it was found she had a wedged compression fracture and she had to wear a spinal brace for the months and suffers from back pain.

The judge said Mrs Ryan’s contention was that the surface of the lane was left as if it were “like marbles on top of a skating rink.”

Ms Justice O’Hanlon found the gully scoping on the lane surface and dishing effect were factors which led to the accident.

Awarding a total of €66,000, Ms Justice O’Hanlon ruled that it was reasonably foreseeable that if the gully and tarmacadam surface were constructed in such a way as to lead to a slope with dishing that the resulting accumulation would cause a trap for the public and Mrs Ryan.