Former prominent hurling coach awarded over €62,000 after road traffic accident

The High Court has awarded a prominent former hurling coach €62,500 in damages for injuries he received following a road traffic accident.

na judgment on Friday Mr Justice Mark Sanfey ruled that Sean Foxe, who has coached hurling and camogie teams in Kilkenny and Wexford including the well-known Buffers Alley senior hurlers was entitled to the award for injuries he received.

The judge also rejected claims that Mr Foxe gave any false or misleading evidence to the court about his injuries.

Mr Fox claimed that the injuries and subsequent pain he suffered have curtailed his quality of life and have prevented him from being able to coach even at a junior level.

45-year-old Mr Foxe, a manager with a mechanical contracting firm from Leonards Court, Dunamaggin, Co Kilkenny was injured following a collision that occurred at Finchogue Cross, Co Wexford on February 21st, 2017, after his car was struck from behind by another car.

He suffered injuries to his lower back, his neck and shoulder, which have caused him severe pain.

Arising out of the accident he sued the driver of the other car, Ian Codd of Beachfields, The Ballagh, Enniscorthy Co Wexford, seeking damages for negligence.

In his judgment Mr Justice Sanfey said that liability had been admitted in the case, and the matter had initially come before the High Court to assess the quantum of damages.

However, the judge said that the defendant applied under section 26 of the 2004 Civil Liability Act to have the claim dismissed on the grounds that the plaintiff had knowingly put false and misleading evidence before the court.

The application was brought on grounds including that Mr Foxe had complained of back injuries to the first doctor he saw following the collision, and that he had a back issue prior to the accident.

Mr Justice Sanfey dismissed the application and said that Mr Foxe was an honest and credible witness who gave answers truthfully and to the best of his recollection.

“He did not strike me as a dishonest witness who had fashioned answers in a manner to suit his case, and indeed his concern and upset at being accused of lying (when under cross-examination) seemed to me to be genuine,” the judge said.

The judge also refused Mr Foxe’s application for an award of additional aggravated damages, which he sought if the defendant’s strike out bid was refused, on the grounds that it was “not appropriate”.

The judge noted that the accident occurred when Mr Foxe was stopped at roadworks, when his car was struck from behind.

It was clear the judge said that the impact of the collision was “very heavy”.

The judge said that following the accident Mr Foxe, who had played GAA, rugby and ran marathons for as long as he could and was a highly rated sports coach, had tried to get back to normal.

However, the judge said that Mr Foxe had on several occasions suffered pain to his back and neck.

He may be in pain for two or three weeks, and then not again for a few months, the judge noted.

The judge said Mr Foxe had said in evidence that a family holiday in 2019 was ruined because he was unable to sleep due to the pain.

Mr Foxe had also stated that he had briefly lost consciousness at the 2019 All Ireland hurling final in Croke Park due to severe neck pain.

He has been receiving various forms of going treatments form medical professionals and doing various exercises, which the judge said had resulted in an improvement in his situation.

While Mr Foxe has been taking care of his injuries, he claims that his quality of life has been curtailed by his ongoing symptoms and is unlikely to be able to get back to coaching.

The judge said that this was a significant factor which had to be considered when assessing the level of damages.

The judge said an appropriate award in this case was €62,500 in general damages to Mr Foxe with special damages to be agreed by the parties at a later date.

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