€90k award for thumb injury after slip in Dublin bar

Sharon Kelly leaving the Four Courts yesterday. Picture: Collins

A woman who slipped on a bar floor and dislocated her thumb, has been awarded over €90,000 by a High Court judge.

Mr Justice Anthony Barr said Sharon Kelly’s fall was captured on CCTV and he was satisfied there was liquid on the parquet flooring at the area where she slipped. The liquid, the judge said, may have come from the wet floor in the ladies’ toilet, or it may have been due to patrons spilling their drinks when coming from the bar.

“This area should have been monitored carefully throughout the evening and corrective action taken when drinks were spilled onto the floor,” the judge said.

Ms Kelly, 44, from Co Offaly, sued Lackabeg Ltd, trading as The Arc Café Bar, Liffey Valley, Fonthill Rd, Dublin, as a result of the fall after 1am on May 29, 2011, when she had been attending a 30th birthday party.

The court heard she was wearing 4in heels at the time of her fall. She claimed she was crossing a wooden floor area in the Lobby Bar and, as she made her way to the toilets, she slipped and fell on liquid on the floor.

Lackabeg Ltd denied there was any water or other liquid on the floor surface and said it had a comprehensive cleaning system in operation that night.

Mr Justice Barr said while there was a system in place for dealing with spillages, he was not satisfied it was properly implemented on what was a very busy night. It was likely, he said, that staff were so busy serving drinks and collecting empty glasses they were not able to take sufficient care to keep the floor dry and clean.

The judge said a Champions League final was being shown on a television screen and a two-for-one drinks promotion was available that night. He was satisfied that the bars and nightclub in the premises were doing a substantial trade that Saturday night.

He accepted the evidence of two other women that the toilets in the public bar had been in poor condition that night and complaints had been made to bar staff about the condition of the toilets.

“People cannot be expected to look at the floor when walking across a bar. She was entitled to expect that the floor was dry and it was safe for her to walk across it,” the judge said.


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