MIBI not liable for injuries of man in uninsured car crash, court rules

A High Court ruling that the MIBI, which compensates victims of uninsured and untraced drivers, is not liable for injuries sustained by a passenger in an uninsured car which was involved in a road traffic accident has been upheld by the Court of Appeal.

The High Court held the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) was not liable after accepting evidence of the car driver that he had told Janvier Tumusabeyezu, before setting off on the car journey, that neither he nor the vehicle were insured.

A native of Rwanda with an address at Russell Square, Tallaght, Dublin, Mr Tumusabeyezu, was injured when the car he was a passenger in went off the road at a bad bend near Mullingar, Co Westmeath and struck a ditch.

The men had been returning from the Body & Soul music festival at Ballinlough Castle, Co Westmeath, on June 26th 2017, where they had been working as security personnel, when the accident occurred. 

Mr Tumusabeyezu suffered soft tissue injuries, including a perforation injury to the small bowel, a right shoulder injury and an injury to his back. He later underwent surgery for his abdominal injuries. 

He brought a High Court damages claim against the driver of the car, Daniel Muresan. a Romanian native, with an address at Mayor’s Walk in Waterford, who admitted negligence.

Neither Mr Muresan nor his car, a Mitsubishi Colt, were insured at the time of the accident. 

Mr Tumusabeyezu also sued the MIBI which denied any liability.

Last year, the High Court’s Mr Justice Bernard Barton ruled the MIBI was not liable for any judgment against Mr Muresan in favour of Mr Tumusabeyezu.

Mr Muresan admitted driving Mr Tumusabeyezu, and two of his friends, to the concert to provide security. 

He said he had informed his passengers before setting off to work at the festival he had no insurance, no drivers licence, the car had no NCT and was not taxed. Mr Tumusabeyezu and the two other passengers who were in the car at the time of the accident, who were friends of the plaintiff, denied they were ever told he had no insurance.

After considering the evidence, Mr Justice Barton accepted Mr Muresan’s version of events. The driver’s evidence was substantially corroborated by a garda sergeant who arrived at the scene of the accident, he also ruled.

Mr Tumusabeyezu appealed that decision, arguing the High Court had made significant errors in its findings. The MIBI opposed the appeal.

The Court of Appeal, comprising Ms Justice Aileen Donnelly, Mr Justice Robert Haughton and Mr Justice Maurice Collins, dismissed the appeal .

Giving the judgment, Mr Justice Collins said no error had been identified in the High Court’s decision that would warrant the Court of Appeal’s intervention, Mr Justice Collins said.

Source: Irish Times

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