Limerick publican and councillor who fell down lift shaft settles court action

Limerick publican and councillor who fell down lift shaft settles court action

A Limerick publican who fell seven feet down an alleged unprotected lift shaft as he viewed a property has settled his High Court action.

Fergus Kilcoyne who is now a Limerick councillor was viewing the property in Limerick city which was under construction when the accident happened thirteen years ago.

Mr Kilcoyne who stood as an independent in the local elections became a councillor earlier this year.

His counsel Paul Burns SC told the court there was only limited light from the stairwell in the property basement.

The publican who was using the light from his mobile phone, he said fell “ in to the void.” Mr Kilcoyne suffered a displaced fracture of his upper arm and was unable to work for nine months afterwards.

Fergus Kilcoyne, Barnakyle, Patrickswell, Co Limerick had sued the property owner, Margaret Keating of Mill Road, Corbally, Co, Limerick , Frank Keating care of FB Keating solicitors, O’ Connell Street, Limerick; contractors

Frank McGrath Construction Ltd, with offices at Upper William Street, Limerick and Auctioneers and Estate Agents , Lizpat Properties Ltd, Barringtons Street, Limerick as a result of the fall on June 13, 2006 at the Westbury Centre, Corbally Road, Limerick.

After talks between the parties Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told the case had been resolved with the costs of all of the proceedings against Lizpat Properties. Mr Burns said the case against the other defendants could be struck out.

Counsel also told the court that liability in the case had been assessed as one third against Mr Kilcoyne and two thirds against Lizpat Properties.

Opening the case Paul Burns SC said Mr Kilcoyne and his wife were viewing a property under construction at the Westbury Centre, Corbally Road, Limerick when the accident happened. The couple were being shown around the premises by an estate agent and were taken down stairs to the basement.

Limited light

Counsel said there was limited light from the stairwell and the estate agent did not have a torch.

Mr Kilcoyne, Counsel said used the light on his phone as he wanted to see the size of the basement.

“As he walked across the floor, he stood in to the void and fell seven feet down the shaft,”

Mr Kilcoyne he said was shocked and in pain and his wife brought him to hospital where an undisplaced fracture of his right upper arm was diagnosed.

He had to wear a plaster for six weeks and counsel said he was out of work for nine months. He also had to return to hospital over the years for pain relieving injections.

It was claimed there was an alleged failure to provide a safe premises and an alleged failure to adequately cover, fence in or protect the lift shaft which it was claimed created a trap for Mr Kilcoyne.

It was further claimed there was an alleged failure to warn Mr Kilcoyne of the presence or position of an uncovered lift shaft in an area of the premises which was not adequately lit.

The claims were denied.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross congratulated the parties on reaching a settlement.

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