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The only thing taxi driver Bernard Gaffney hit in April 2017 was his brakes  yet the “personal injury solicitors Dublin” incident generated five personal injury claims totalling €300,000, Judge John O’Connor heard in the Circuit Civil Court today.

Barrister Conor Kearney told the court Gaffney, of Greenfort Crescent, Clondalkin, Dublin, sued a Co. Carlow couple, the owner and driver of a car he claimed had caused him to slam on his brakes injuring himself and several of his passengers.

Mr Kearney said there had never been a collision and the first time Sarah and Brendan Hogan, of Tullow Road, Bennekerry, Carlow, knew they were facing claims for almost €400,000 damages and legal costs was when they received solicitors letters alleging they had caused a collision in which a number of people had been badly injured.

Counsel, who appeared with Andrew Butler of Hayes McGrath Solicitors for the Hogans and Allianz Insurance, told Judge O’Connor it was the first time in his long experience in the courts that he had come across a personal injuries case involving only a braking manoeuvre which thousands of motorists carried out daily in their cars.

Judge O’Connor heard that Gaffney was suing the Hogans and their insurance company while four of his passengers were suing him as well as Allianz and the Hogans. Only Gaffney’s case came before the court today but two of his passengers, Patrick Keeler and Nancy Conroy, gave evidence of having been injured in the “emergency braking incident”.

Their addresses were not revealed in court and the other claimants were not identified during the proceedings. Gaffney and four passengers had brought personal injuries claims each for €60,000 damages.

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