A 67-year-old woman, who turned down an €18,000 Injuries Board assessment for injuries she suffered in a fall, walked from court Friday with nothing other than a legal costs bill against her of potentially €30,000.
Alice Jordan’s €60,000 damages claim against her employer, Trinity College, Dublin, was delayed for almost an hour in the Circuit Civil Court while checks were carried out on the availability of a witness on behalf of TCD where there is a confirmed case of coronavirus.
Barrister Mark O’Connell told Judge Kathryn Hutton there was a question about the attendance of witness Christine Monaghan due to the coronavirus outbreak but later confirmed she not affected by the outbreak and was available without issue as she worked on a different floor from where a virus victim had been identified.
After the case was about half way through the hearing of evidence Judge Hutton said she had discovered the Injuries Board assessment among court documents and, as a result, would have to withdraw from the case and have it heard before another judge.
Judge Jacqueline Linnane in another court had to re-hear all of the evidence, absent the Injuries Board assessment document, and on completion threw out Jordan’s claim.
Jordan, of Belclare Grove, Poppintree, Co Dublin, told Judge Linnane she had been working with Trinity for 36 years and on 14 December 2016 had accompanied Ms Monaghan to inspect the suitability of the college’s Knowledge Exchange Room for the holding of a Christmas Party.
On the way out of the room a loop in the lace of one of the trainer’s she was wearing had snagged on the leg of a chair, one of a stack of chairs near the exit from the room. She had fallen injuring her right arm, knee and lower back and alleged the stack of chairs was a trip hazard.
Mr O’Connell, who appeared with Hayes McGrath Solicitors for the college, at one stage of the proceedings invited the court to dismiss Jordan’s claim on the basis she had failed to prove negligence against Trinity.
Judge Linnane heard all of the evidence for and against the personal injuries claimant before deciding to dismiss the case with an order for costs against Ms Jordan.
“I don’t see how this incident could have taken place in the manner described,” Judge Linnane said. “The most likely cause of her fall was tripping over her own shoe lace."