A 69-year-old business woman who suffered a triple fracture of her left ankle after she slipped and fell in the Herbert Park Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin, has been awarded €56,250 damages in the Circuit Civil Court.
Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke said he was satisfied the entrance hotel floor had been impeccable and maintained to the highest standard, but Delia Manning should not have been allowed to enter the hotel through the emergency exit doors without a mat.
Judge Groarke said engineering evidence showed the floor became slippery when moisture was carried in under people’s shoes. He said there was no mat at the emergency doors to trap any potential moisture.
“It was an accident waiting to happen,” the judge said.
Ms Manning, of Assumption Terrace, Kinsale, Co Cork, told the court that she had stayed at the hotel with her son and grandson in August 2014 to attend the RDS Horse Show.
She said the last day of the show, August 10, was a wet day and the show ended early. They had decided to go home and had been leaving the hotel car park but the barrier would not lift. She had gone back to the hotel to check that the ticket had been validated when she slipped and fell forward.
Ms Manning told her counsel, Eamon Shanahan, that she felt pain in her ankle. She had been attended to by hotel staff before being taken by ambulance to St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin, where X-rays revealed a fracture in her ankle.
She underwent surgery and needed to wear a plaster cast for several weeks. The court heard she was no longer able to walk long distances and she may develop arthritis in the future.
She sued Hebert Park Hotel Ltd, which trades as Herbert Park Hotel, and Sheelin McSharry (Ballsbridge) Limited, of Embassy House, Herbert Park Lane, Ballsbridge, for negligence.
The defendants denied liability and had alleged that Manning had used the emergency doors because the main entrance was crowded with a group of tourists and she had been rushing when she slipped.
Judge Groarke said he accepted that Ms Manning, who suffered a “very nasty and extremely serious” injury, may have been distracted. Initially awarding her €75,000 damages, he reduced her award by 25% for contributory negligence.
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