Young mother 'can't put on her own socks' after fall on broken concrete, court hears

by Ann O'Loughlin

A young mother today told the High Court she hurt her back and can't put on her own socks after allegedly tripping on broken concrete outside shops in a Dublin suburb.

Anne Marie Fagan said her whole life has changed since the fall eight years ago.

“I can’t put on my socks; my son has to do it for me. When I go shopping, I have to bring somebody with me,” she told Mr Justice Anthony Barr.

The 37-year old woman told the judge she can’t take clothes from the washing machine or hoover. She said she used to walk a lot but now can’t stand or walk for long periods after the fall.

“I have not had a full nights sleep since all this started,” she said.

Anne Marie Fagan, Kildare Park, Crumlin, Dublin and now living in Drimnagh, Dublin has sued Dublin City Council, butchers Gordon Ennis, trading as County Meats Prestige Foods, Old County Road and New Ireland Assurance company as a result of the fall on July 21, 2009.

She has claimed the accident happened outside the butcher's shop at Old County Road, Crumlin when she fell on an allegedly defective and uneven section of footpath.

She has further claimed the footpath was allegedly permitted to be or remain in a dangerous and hazardous condition and there was an alleged failure to ensure the footpath was left in a safe condition following completion of works there.

Ms Fagan has also claimed there was an alleged failure to repair or reinstate or cause the footpath to be repaired or reinstated adequately at all.

There was also it was alleged a failure to warn Ms Fagan of the dangerous state of the path.

The claims were denied, and it is contended there was contributory negligence on Ms Fagan’s behalf and that she was the author of her own misfortune.

In evidence, Ms Fagan a hospital catering assistant said she had gone to the shops for her mother to buy a small bag of potatoes.

She said her foot got caught on broken concrete and she fell backwards. "My foot stopped, | twisted and came down on my bottom.

I was embarrassed. It all happened in a couple of seconds,” she said.

That night she said she noticed bruising on her left buttock and the next morning could not get out of bed because she had aches and pains and she was later for work.

She told the judge she had pain in her lower back and down her leg and and had to have a nerve blocking surgery procedure. An MRI scan showed a disc impinging on the nerve root, and she had to have further surgery.

The case before Mr Justice Anthony Barr continues tomorrow.

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