Irish judge dismisses passenger's damages claim after 'dumb American' driver hits bus

Irish judge dismisses passenger's damages claim after 'dumb American' driver hits bus

AN IRISH judge has dismissed a bus passenger’s damages claim after a collision involving a rental car driven by a tourist, who dubbed himself a ‘dumb American’.

Ruling against claimant Jennifer Ashe, Mr Justice Paul Butler agreed there was ‘absolutely no movement’ when the 20-tonne Dublin Bus sustained a ‘glancing blow’ with the tourist’s 1.7-tonne hire car in 2013. reports how the tourist and his four-year-old son immediately boarded the bus to check everyone was OK, jokingly dubbing himself a ‘dumb American’.


Ms Ashe, 33, of Lansdowne Gate Apartments, claimed she suffered back and other injuries in the incident and they continue to cause her pain.

However Mr Justice Butler said he believed Ms Ashe likely only became aware an impact had even occurred after the tourist got on the bus to apologise and exchange insurance details with the driver.

He pointed to the fact that the claimant provided no engineering evidence, unlike the defence, whose evidence supported their version of events – a glancing blow between the vehicles at just 10kph.

He also noted the discrepancies between the account of Ms Ashe – the only person to claim as a result of the incident – and the bus driver.

Ms Ashe and her partner said the only people on the downstairs section of the bus were themselves, their daughter and Ms Ashe’s sister.

The driver meanwhile said there were 40 people on the bus, which had stopped with the handbrake on while people got on and off.


While Mr Justice Butler agreed Ms Ashe was suffering an injury ‘to quite and extraordinary degree’, he didn’t accept it was incurred during the incident.

Rental car company Europcar, through its insurer AIG, admitted negligence over the incident on June 18, 2013 but argued Ms Ashe was not hurt and was not entitled to any damages.

Dismissing the claim after a two-day hearing last week, Mr Justice Butler also awarded costs against Ms Ashe.