Couple injured in Killarney hotel lift collapse settle case 

High Court to begin to hear next case of three remaining cases in relation to accident at Kerry hotel 10 years ago
Couple injured in Killarney hotel lift collapse settle case 

Andrew Meehan and his wife, Patricia O Leary from Meath, have settled their High Court action. File picture: Collins Courts

A husband and wife who were injured when a lift in a Kerry hotel plummeted three floors to the basement have settled their High Court actions.

Former garda sergeant and mother of two Patricia O’Leary had already told the High Court she felt her leg breaking on impact and she had to be cut from the lift wreckage in the accident 10 years ago. 

She described the descent of the lift at the Killarney Plaza Hotel as “a very violent drop to the floor". The former garda sergeant is one of five from the same extended family including her husband Andrew Meehan, also a garda sergeant, who have sued over the accident as they tried to return to their rooms in the Killarney Plaza Hotel after a wedding ceremony on July 9, 2011.

Ms O’Leary had to retire from An Garda Síochána on medical grounds, five years after the accident, aged 37.

In the third day of her action on Thursday, Mr Justice Michael Hanna was told Ms O’Leary’s case had been settled and the court could move on to hear Andrew Meehan’s case. 

However, after talks between the sides, Mr Justice Hanna was told Mr Meehan’s case had also settled.

The terms of the settlements are confidential.

Three remaining cases

The High Court will on Friday begin to hear the next case of the three remaining cases on the list in relation to the accident at the Kerry hotel 10 years ago.

Ms O’Leary, 42, of Co Meath along with her husband, Garda Sergeant Andrew Meehan and the Meehan brothers Paul and Kevin and Kevin’s wife Jennie Wong have sued the hotel owners, Shawcove Ltd, with registered offices at Castleisland, Co Kerry, and companies involved in installing and maintaining lifts, Ellickson Engineering Ltd, in receivership of Kilmurry, Waterford; Kilell Ltd also of Kilmurry, Waterford and Otis Ltd, Naas Road Business Park, Dublin, and Otis Elevator Ireland Ltd of the same address, as well as lift components manufacturer Daldoss Elevetronic Spa of Valsugana, Italy.

It is claimed there was a failure to ensure the intended pathway from the car park was safe and free from hazard and there was a failure, it is claimed, to install a proper functioning lift from the car park to the hotel.

Assessment of damages

The court heard liability was conceded in the case in 2019 and the cases are before the court for assessment of damages only.

Opening the case, Richard Kean SC with Barney Quirke SC told the court engineering company Ellickson Engineering Ltd, now in receivership, was fined €750,000 in 2017 after it was found guilty at Tralee Circuit Criminal Court of a single breach of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act over the installation of the hotel lift in and around April 2004.

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