Claim for an Injury due to an Accident in a Hotel Heard at the High Court

A former council worker´s claim for an injury due to an accident in a hotel is continuing after its first day of being heard at the High Court.

Benjamin Stanley (67) sustained a shoulder injury while attending a dance on Easter Sunday in 2009. According to testimony provided at the High Court yesterday, Benjamin had been attending a dance at the Castle Arms Hotel in Durrow, County Laois, and – after escorting his dancing partner back to her car – returned to the hotel to enjoy the remainder of the evening.

When he entered the hotel, Benjamin decided that he would use the bathroom facilities prior to returning to the dance floor; but, as he made his way across the hotel´s lobby, he slipped and fell. Unaware of any immediate injury, Benjamin carried on dancing; but, after driving himself back to his home in Birr, County Offaly, he started to experience intense pain in his shoulder.

Benjamin summoned a doctor and a torn tendon was diagnosed in his shoulder after an examination. Benjamin had to undergo surgery to repair the torn tendon, after which he sought legal advice and made a claim for an injury due to an accident in a hotel. In his claim, Benjamin alleged that his accident was due to the hotel´s failure to properly monitor and control the condition of the floor.

The hotel owner, Seosamh Murphy and Dal Riada Taverns Ltd – the licensee of the Castle Arms Hotel – denied that the hotel was responsible for Benjamin´s accident. They argued that the floors of the hotel were checked every two hours and that Benjamin had caused his own accident by rushing to the bathroom after having too much to drink.

As there was a dispute over liability, the Injuries Board could not assess Benjamin´s claim for an injury due to an accident in a hotel, and an Authorisation was issued so that Benjamin could pursue his claim through the court system. Consequently, at the High Court, Mr Justice Anthony Barr was told the circumstances of Benjamin´s fall.

Under cross-examination, Benjamin told the judge that he had not been rushing to the bathroom and had not had a drink the whole day. He said that he definitely felt something under his shoe as he slipped and it was whatever matter on the floor that was the cause of his injury. Unable to resolve the claim for an injury due to an accident in a hotel, Judge Barr adjourned the hearing and the case continues.