Man whose nose was broken by door awarded €19k against Aer Lingus

A 63-year-old man whose nose was broken by a closing electronic door at Dublin Airport was awarded €19,000 damages against Aer Lingus.

Barrister Gerard Groarke told the Circuit Civil Court Thomas Smyth, aged 63, from Co Cavan, and his wife Evelyn were heading to Tenerife when the incident occurred at Terminal 1 in Jan 2011. Instead of boarding the plane, Thomas, accompanied by his wife, was taken by ambulance to Beaumont Hospital where an X-ray revealed his nose had been broken. They were able to resume their holiday two days later, Thomas with a broken nose and two black eyes. The court learned the holiday was spoiled for the couple.

Mr Groarke said both Aer Lingus and Dublin Airport Authority had been sued and damages of €19,000 had been agreed between the defendants who asked Judge Jacqueline Linnane to decide who was to blame.

The court heard the electronic door was opened by an Aer Lingus flight attendant inserting an identity card and code. The door was magnetically timed to close after 30 minutes but sometimes boarding took up to 40 minutes.

Mr Smyth said that as far as he was concerned he was walking through an open space when he was suddenly hit, without warning, by the rapidly closing door. He said he was bleeding and had been overcome by shock.

Eamon Marray, for Dublin Airport Authority, said there had been no evidence of negligence on the part of his client and he was granted a direction dismissing the claim, with costs, against the DAA.

Judge Linnane, making an order for the damages only against the airline, said there had been no defect found in the door.


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