Man awarded €2.85m after suffering life-changing injuries when van was deliberately driven into him

four courts, dublin

21 December 2021

A 30-year-old man who suffered life-changing injuries when a van was deliberately driven at him on a street has settled his High Court action for €2.85million.

Father-of-two Stephen Roche was catastrophically injured and was in a coma for 16 days after the incident on the Main Street at Edgeworthstown, Co Longford four years ago.

The van, a court previously heard, was driven in a circle around Mr Roche and another man and on the second circle, the driver drove at Mr Roche and knocked him over.

Mr Roche’s counsel Sara Moorhead SC today told the High Court it was a very tragic case. Counsel said there had been an altercation earlier in the night and the van driver deliberately drove at Mr Roche who suffered severe injuries.

In June 2020, Aaron Cassidy (29) of Cranleymore, Edgeworthstown, Co Longford was jailed for dangerous driving causing serious bodily harm to Mr Roche on September 10, 2017. Cassidy was also disqualified from driving for 10 years.

Cassidy was sentenced to six years with the last twelve months suspended. The Court of Appeal later dismissed Cassidy’s appeal against the sentence.

Mr Justice Paul Coffey was told today a large part of the settlement will go toward Mr Roche’s future care needs.

The settlement is against the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI), which compensates victims of uninsured or untraced drivers. Cassidy was uninsured at the time.

Mr Roche, of Mullingar, Co Westmeath, had through his sister Tracey Golden sued the MIBI and Aaron Cassidy as a result of the incident.

He had claimed he was a pedestrian on the Main Street at Edgeworthstown when suddenly and without warning, the van driven by Cassidy collided with him.

He further claimed the driver was driving too fast in all the circumstances, without due care and attention and in a dangerous manner. He claimed there was also a failure to drive at an appropriate speed or with appropriate care and caution.

The van, he said, had been driven without regard for Mr Roche’s safety.

After he was knocked down, Mr Roche was brought to Mullingar General Hospital and he was later transferred to Beaumont Hospital, Dublin.

The Court of Appeal in dismissing Cassidy’s appeal against sentence earlier this year, and on hearing of the life-changing injuries suffered by Mr Roche, said it was “entirely correct to place the offence near the highest end of the spectrum”.

The court had heard Mr Roche suffered ongoing health problems including dizziness, blurred vision as well as difficulties with reading and writing and he will be on anti-epilepsy medicine for the rest of his life.

If you would like an assessment of a claim, you can use the online form available here without obligation or alternatively you can use the automatic claim calculator.

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