Woman left with hefty legal bill after losing claim against nightclub

A woman who sued over arm injuries suffered after a man fell on top of her while they were dancing at well-known Dublin club Copper Face Jacks has lost her High Court action for damages.

Woman left with hefty legal bill after losing claim against nightclub

Ciara O’Connell, aged 33, faces a hefty legal bill after the judge awarded Copper Face Jacks the costs of the two-day hearing against her.

Ms O’Connell was dancing backwards to a song with a work colleague, Noel Humphries, when the incident happened at the Harcourt St venue on Aug 4, 2006.

Mr Justice Sean Ryan said this was an “unfortunate” accident but he could not find Ms O’Connell’s injuries could be attributed to a slippery floor and he therefore could not find the nightclub was negligent.

Ms O’Connell’s injury was “just the combination of circumstances that meant Mr Humphries fell on top of her which precipitated the heavy fall resulting in her sustaining the injury that she did”.

Ms O’Connell, of Glenview Park, Tallaght, Dublin, fractured her arm and was out of work for three months afterwards.

In her action against Breanagh Catering Ltd, trading as Copper Face Jacks, she claimed Mr Humphries slipped on the floor, which she pleaded was wet, and fell onto her, causing her to fall to the ground. The defendant denied liability and also pleaded Ms O’Connell was engaged in dangerous and reckless dancing with Mr Humphries.

The floor was made of pine flooring bound with iroco hardwood board inserts to provide contrast and pattern. An engineer who tested it after pouring water on it found the pine boards accounting for most of the dance floor were safe even when wet.

While the hardwood inserts were not porous and, if wet, would be slippery, there was no evidence the accident happened by Mr Humphries slipping on the hardwood strip, he said.

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