Retired pathologist disputes state's evidence in case of man's death

The State says Jason Saunders died from a blow to the chest that caused a rare condition

A retired pathologist has disputed the State’s evidence that a Dublin man died from a rare heart condition brought upon by a blow to the chest.

Paul Brannigan of Fassaugh Avenue, Cabra in Dublin is accused of killing Jason Saunders with a golf club after a St. Patrick’s Day party in 2014.

Commotio Cordis is a rare condition that claims the lives of up to 50 people in the US every year. Baseball catchers are particularly vulnerable if they get hit in the chest with a ball during a 3 millisecond window in the heart beat.

It is the State’s case that Jay Saunders died from this condition after being hit with a golf club allegedly swung by Paul Brannigan after a row at an apartment in Cabra, Dublin the morning after St. Patrick’s Day 2014.

The accused claims he head butted Mr. Saunders in self-defence, but denies hitting him in the chest with the club.

Yesterday, the State Pathologist Dr. Marie Cassidy said she believed the cause of death was due to this lethal disruption of heart rhythm brought about by a blunt force trauma, most likely caused from the swipe of a club head.

Today, retired pathologist Dr. Declan Gilsenan said he believed it was caused by adrenaline and the cocktail of drugs taken by Mr. Saunders.

Closing speeches will be heard on Monday.