ESB worker who was beaten up by angry motorist awarded €60,000 damages

Esb Worker Who Was Beaten Up By Angry Motorist Awarded €60,000 Damages
The man was regulating traffic at an ESB road excavation when the attack on him happened. Photo: PA
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Ray Managh

A former ESB worker, who told a court he was badly beaten up and threatened with being shot by an angry motorist, has been awarded €60,000 damages against his assailant.

Gerald Bowden, now aged 71 and retired, of Whitethorn Park, Palmerstown, Dublin 20, said in the Circuit Civil Court he was regulating traffic at an ESB road excavation near Gracepark Heights in Dublin 11 years ago when the attack on him happened.


He told Judge Jennifer O’Brien that Razvan Tarziu, of Gracepark Heights, had taken exception to his placing a traffic cone in front of his van and had got out and punched and kicked him, causing bleeding and bruising.

“When two of the lads pulled him off me he said he was going up to his house to get his shotgun and there was going to be a bloodbath and I was going to be the first to be shot,” Mr Bowden told his counsel, Carrie Jane Canniffe.

Ms Canniffe, who appeared with Bruce St John Blake Solicitors, told Judge O’Brien there had been a lot of evasion of service of Mr Bowden’s proceedings on the defendant and, eventually, judgment in default of appearance had been obtained before another judge against Mr Tarziu in his absence.

Bowden also sued ESB for damages, on the basis the company had allegedly been negligent in its duty of care towards its employee. Defence barrister Seamus Breen submitted to the court there was no way in which ESB could have foreseen any attack being launched on Mr Bowden and the case against his client should be dismissed.


The court heard that Mr Bowden, then a driver for ESB, had been delegated responsibility for regulating traffic passing the excavation site, and he had been doing so by placing a cone in front of traffic when he wanted vehicles to stop and allow oncoming traffic get through.

He told Ms Canniffe that when he placed the traffic cone in the roadway in front of Tarziu’s oncoming van, Tarziu had driven around it, forcing him onto the footpath. When the van stopped he had approached it to find out what was wrong and could hear Tarziu’s wife crying and calling for her husband to get back in the van.

Mr Bowden said Tarziu had punched him in the head and kicked him in the legs. “He grabbed me by the throat and tried to put me on the ground,” he said. He said gardaí had been called and arrived at the excavation site. Following the incident, he had been treated for injuries to his face and body and suffering at the time.

Judge O’Brien was told by Ms Canniffe there had been no response from Mr Tarziu to the proceedings and she did not expect any presence in court on the defendant’s behalf. No appearance or defence by Tarziu had been entered and he did not turn up to defend Bowden’s €60,000 damages claim against him.


Judge O’Brien agreed with Mr Breen that there was no case for ESB to meet and dismissed the proceedings against the company. She said the attack on Mr Bowden had been a vicious one and she awarded him €60,000 damages and legal costs against Mr Tarsiu.

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