Gaffney (aged 49) told the court that as soon as the braking incident had occurred his passengers had shouted they were injured and he turned and followed the Hogan car which stopped “personal injury solicitors Dublin” at the next junction. He denied, in cross-examination by Mr Kearney, that the only reason he had chased after the Hogans was because his passengers had shouted they were injured and he had known they would sue him.
He told Mr Kearney he had been involved in three previous personal injury claims in which he had received damages totalling €49,000. He was not aware of an attack on the Hogans’ car on the night of the braking incident.
He said he was not wearing his safety belt on the night and he had received a letter from his doctor noting irritation by the use of his seat belt following two instances of stomach surgeries, not connected with the 2017 braking incident.
Judge O’Connor said the medical letter did not exonerate Mr Gaffney from wearing his safety belt. Dismissing Gaffney’s claim with costs, the judge said he had not proven his case. While Mr Hogan had taken an illegal turn right there had been no collision and Mr Gaffney, travelling at more than 40kms per hour, had not been aware of a 30kms per hour speed limit.
“What followed was an incident of road rage which ended up in a frightening experience for the Hogans,” Judge O’Connor said. The alleged groin injury to Mr Gaffney was far too remote to have been associated with the braking incident.