Irish cyclist sues council over poor road surface and wins €66,000

Posted on: May 21st, 2019

Cyclists are now suing councils in Ireland over poor road surface and badly constructed roads.

A cyclist who crashed due poor road surface and suffered a back injury has been awarded €66,000 by the High Court.

Nuala Ryan, a 61-year-old from St Bernadette’s Terrace, Clonmel, Co Tipperary, sued Tipperary County Council.

Her crash occurred close to her home on January 4th, 2014. The case was told the injured woman’s bike skidded on pebbles and debris on the tarmacadam.

The case is the second in recent weeks to result in awards being made to cyclists who crashed and were injured due to poor road surface or construction.

About two weeks ago a cyclist who crashed and suffered a serious back injury has been awarded €64,000 over a faulty road surface; also in Co Tipperary.

In the latest case, Tipperary County Council denied liability, saying the lane where she was cycling was either breaking up or potholes on it had been filled by third parties, which it could not be held liable for.

Ms Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon did not agree with the council and she found in favour of cyclist Nuala Ryan.

The judge said the stones on the road surface were a “nuisance” and “a danger” to the public. They were “like marbles on top of a skating rink.”

Justice O’Hanlon added there had been “negligent reinstatement” of the surface which had never been completed properly.

The gully scoping of the surface caused a dishing effect, resulting in an accumulation (of debris) at one spot which was effectively a trap waiting for the public.

Because the impact of the construction was foreseeable and had caused the crash, the award of €66,000 was made.

Mr Ryan said her bike skidded on pebbles on the surface of the laneway and she had fallen off her bike. She said she was trapped until two passersby came to her aid.

A medical examination showed she had a wedged compression fracture. Her back was still painful and she had to wear a spinal brace for months.