25 May 2017

Man Gets €2m After Suffering Brain Damage in Clamping Row

A man who was left brain damaged after being struck with a hammer when he clamped a car in a Dublin city car park has settled a High Court action against his employer, Nationwide Controlled Parking Systems for €2 million.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross described the attack on the plaintiff, Mr. Gheorghe Pista as “appalling and disgraceful” upon hearing the facts of the case. Mr. Pista was viciously assaulted while carrying out the duties of his job and has been left severely brain damaged as a result of the attack. The Plaintiff, whose skull was fractured can now verbalise only a few words, has difficulty walking independently and requires 24 hour care.

Mr Pista was clamping the attacker, Gerard Sweeney’s girlfriend’s car when the assault occurred. Sweeney approached him shouting and swearing that he would not pay the fine and then went to the boot of the car to retrieve a hammer and came back to the front of the vehicle and hit Mr Pista on the left side of his head, knocking him to the ground and fracturing his skull.

As a result of the fracture, Mr. Pista required a metal plate be inserted and was in a coma for seven weeks.

The Plaintiff told that Court that he was instructed by his employer not to remove any clamping devise without first receiving payment, regardless of threats made against his personal safety. There had Mr. Pista not have been following instructions which could have potentially put him in a dangerous situation, and inevitably did, the injuring would not have occurred, thus his employer was negligent by apparently directing him to enforce parking regulations in the car park during nightly hours. It was alleged that the company knew or ought to have known it was unsafe and dangerous to do so thus, breaching their duty of care to ensure the safety of their employees.

Cross J. ultimately found in favour of the Plaintiff and awarded damages of €2 million to him.

It should be noted that Gerard Sweeney pleaded guilty in the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in 2014 and was given a 10 year sentence with the final 3 years suspended.