Paramedic awarded €50,000 for injuries sustained in near-collision

Paramedic Awarded €50,000 For Injuries Sustained In Near-Collision
The paramedic was treating a patient when the ambulance driver was forced to break violently to avoid colliding with a car which had pulled out in front of the vehicle. Photo: PA Images
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Ray Managh

A paramedic who suffered significant injuries when his ambulance driver was forced to brake violently to avoid a collision has been awarded €50,500 in the Civil Circuit Court.

Judge James O’Donohoe heard that Matthew Landy (52) was looking after an elderly critically ill patient in the back of the ambulance when he was thrown from his seat onto the floor when the ambulance driver had to take evasive action to avoid the car, which had pulled out in front of the ambulance, the court heard.


Mr Landy, of Golden Grove Road, Roscrea, Co Tipperary, had sued The National Ambulance Service and the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) for €60,000 damages arising from the non-collision incident in July 2017.

Barrister Jack Nicholas, who appeared with Hogan Dowling McNamara Solicitors, said Mr Landy had been tending to a patient who had inhaled vomit into her lungs and was being rushed to hospital in Drogheda at the time.

Mr Nicholas explained a since-untraced car had suddenly pulled out in front of the ambulance, causing the ambulance driver to have to brake suddenly. Mr Landy was thrown from his seat in the rear of the ambulance during the incident.

Mr Landy said that after having administered treatment to the patient, he had been reading her medical notes while monitoring her condition and sitting, facing the patient, on the observer’s seat. When the emergency braking manoeuvre occurred, he had been thrown onto the floor, landing on the base of his spine.


He suffered an undisplaced fracture to his coccyx, and although he returned to work two months after the incident, he still suffered pain while sitting which affect continues to impact him, particularly after a shift or when lying in bed.

Mr Landy said he was still working for the ambulance service and confirmed to the judge that he had not been wearing his safety belt at the time.

The court heard there was a sign in the back of the ambulance which stated the safety belt should be worn while the revolving seat was facing the front of the vehicle. However, Mr Landy said he had been seated facing his patient at the time, and a forensic engineer told the court the across the chest safety belt would not have prevented him from falling sideways off the seat.

Dismissing the case against The National Ambulance Service, Judge O’Donohoe awarded Mr Landy €50,500 against the MIBI, which is the compensation fund in incidents where the vehicle responsible is untraced or uninsured.


“This is an unfortunate situation,” Judge O’Donohoe said. “The plaintiff is a very impressive and truthful witness and is to be commended for having risked his own safety while looking after the patient.”

The judge added that Mr Landy’s co-worker was very experienced and had given very fair evidence, noting that had she not braked she would have collided with the car which had pulled out ahead of her.

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