Friday, 15 August 2014 10:37

Woman who was caused to fall in a nightclub awarded €56,000 damages

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A woman who was caused to fall in a nightclub in Dublin has been awarded €56,000 in damages arising from a personal injury* claim she took against the nightclub. The woman was enjoying a convivial night out at Barcode, a nightclub located at the Westwood Club in Fairview, Dublin, when the accident occurred.

The High Court was told that the woman was returning from the toilets and was crossing the floor of a restaurant area when she fell. The woman landed on the front of her body and the drink she was carrying in her right hand broke on impact. The woman suffered a severe cut to her middle finger which resulted in tendon and nerve damage.

She also suffered a laceration of her right thumb and right ring finger, but without deep damage. She was taken ambulance to the accident and emergency department of the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital. The damage to her tight middle finger was repaired under general anaesthesia. She was hospitalised for two days and then discharged home with a splint to the right hand which she wore for six weeks. She had several sessions of hand physiotherapy.

The plaintiff gave evidence that the floor in the restaurant area generally on the particular night was wet and slippery. She described it as being, “real messy”. After she had fallen she noticed that the floor area on which she fell was wet, like water was on it, but she assumed that it was spilled drink. She also noted that there was brown colour on the floor, which she said resembled muddy water carried on shoes.

The Defendants outlined the cleaning systems they had in place to deal with spills and outlined the number of staff they had working that night. The court heard that the maximum number of persons permitted on the premises was 1,300 and that there were 900 persons on the premises on the night the accident occurred.

The Judge of the High Court, Mr. Justice Herbert, in his Judgment delivered on the 5th February 2014 found that “on the balance of probabilities that the cleaning and maintenance system so carefully set up by the defendants failed to operate effectively on the night”. The court awarded the woman sum of €36,000 for pain, suffering and embarrassment to date and a further €20,000 for pain, suffering and embarrassment into the future.

*In contentious business a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.

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