Pensioner awarded €40k after airport escalator fall

A pensioner who fell on an escalator at Dublin Airport has been awarded €40,000 by a High Court judge.

Mr Justice Michael Hanna said he was satisfied that if Elizabeth Lavin, aged 69, had taken the lift, no such accident would have taken place to “this unfortunate neophyte in the ways of escalators”.

The judge said he was satisfied that Ms Lavin probably would have availed of the lift had sufficient signs been available at the time of the accident four years ago.

The judge noted that, at the time of the accident at Terminal 2 in 2011, there was no sign to say the lift could be taken to departures. Signage and available advice, the judge said, are the best options when accommodating mass transit.

Mr Justice Hanna said he did not fault Ms Lavin for not resting her hand appropriately on the handrail, nor for having her baggage behind her instead of in front of her on the escalator. However, he did rule there was contributory negligence on her part for not asking for help from an airport assistant. Ms Lavin should have asked and would have been pointed to the lifts, he said. The judge assessed contributory negligence at one third, bringing the award of €60,000 down to €40,000.

Ms Lavin, of Blackhall, Calverstown, Kilcullen, Co Kildare, had sued Dublin Airport Authority as a result of the fall on the escalator on November 2, 2011.

All the claims were denied. Dublin Airport Authority contended it was an unfortunate incident and not the fault of the DAA.

The judge put a stay on the award in the event of an appeal and directed that €25,000 be paid out immediately to Ms Lavin.



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