Month: June 2014

Judge Awards Woman 80% Compensation for a Fall in Dark Nightclub

A judge at the Circuit Civil Court has told a woman that she was 20% responsible for an accident at the Abberley Court Hotel in Dublin, and awarded her 80% compensation for a fall in a dark nightclub.

On 4th April 2010, Rita Walsh from Tallaght in Dublin had spent a pleasant evening with her daughters at the Level 4 Nightclub in the Abberley Court Hotel in Tallaght after enjoying a meal at a local Chinese restaurant. However, as the nightclub started to close, Rita tried to visit the bathroom and tripped over a step – badly injuring her shoulder when she fell.

Rita sought legal advice and claimed compensation for a fall in the dark nightclub – alleging that the management of the Level 4 Nightclub had turned out all the lights as the DJ finished, leaving the premises “pitch black”. The Abberley Court Hotel denied Rita´s allegations – arguing that the club had been fully illuminated during closing – and the case proceeded to court, where it was heard before Judge Alan Mahon.

In the hearing, Conor Murphy – a forensic engineer brought in to give an expert opinion on the lighting in the club – gave evidence that the overall lighting was inadequate to clearly identify the step in question, and that recessed lighting on the back of the step only made it visible from the direction opposite to that in which Rita was walking.

Judge Mahon accepted the forensic engineer´s evidence of the nightclub´s lighting as truthful, and said that although Rita´s allegations that the nightclub was “pitch black” were incorrect, it was also inaccurate that the management of the Level 4 Nightclub had illuminated the premises as the patrons were leaving, and more likely that the lights had been switched on only once Rita´s accident had occurred.

The judge also ruled that Rita must take 20% of the responsibility for her accident, as she admitted to having been drinking alcohol with her daughters at the nightclub and at the Chinese restaurant. He consequently reduced her compensation for a fall in a dark nightclub from €22,000 to €17,600.

Dunnes Employee Awarded Canteen Slip and Fall Injury Compensation

An employee of Dunnes Stores in Clonmel has been awarded €82,750 canteen slip and fall injury compensation after a hearing at the High Court.

Twenty-nine year old Dorota Michalowska had been clearing tables in the canteen of her local Dunnes Store in Clonmel, County Tipperary, when – on July 14th 2011 – as she was pushing a trolley laden with dirty dishes towards the kitchen, she slipped on a frozen chip on the floor and fell awkwardly – sustaining a soft tissue injury in her knee.

Dorota´s left her immobilised for six months – and unable to work for thirty-five weeks – and after undergoing therapy to reduce her incapacity Dorota sought legal advice from a solicitor and made a claim for canteen slip and fall injury compensation against Dunnes Stores.

Dunnes Stores denied its liability for Dorota´s soft tissue injury – arguing that she had been preparing much of the food in the canteen throughout the day and, as it was most likely that her negligence was responsible for the frozen chip being on the floor, Dorota had been the author of her own misfortune.

Dorota´s claim for canteen slip and fall injury compensation was heard by Ms Justice Mary Irvine at the High Court, and after hearing evidence from both parties, Judge Irvine ruled Dorota´s favour on the grounds that had Dorota dropped the frozen chip herself – and then gone around the canteen loading her trolley with dirty dishes – the chips would have defrosted by the time Dorota slipped on them and injured her knee.

The judge noted that Dorota had two colleagues working in the canteen with her on the day of the accident and “on the balance of probabilities” in was more than likely that one of Dorota´s colleagues had dropped the chip and either not seen the hazard or neglected to pick it up. Consequently Judge Irvine ruled, Dunnes Stores were liable for Dorota´s injuries due to the negligence of its staff.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine awarded Dorota €82,750 canteen slip and fall injury compensation – commenting that it was likely Dorota would suffer from arthritis in her later life, and that the compensation settlement included a payment of €20,000 to account for Dorota´s future pain and suffering.