News Courts

Tuesday 16 September 2014

€32k damages for mother injured by broken champagne bottle

Saurya Cherfi

Published 22/07/2014 | 02:30

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Nuala McCourt

A 47-year-old mother-of-four, who was injured by flying shards of glass from a champagne bottle, has been awarded €32,000 damages against Dublin Airport Authority.

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UK civil servant Nuala McCourt told Judge Alan Mahon in the Circuit Civil Court that on September 20, 2012, she and some friends had been shopping in the Loop at Dublin airport before boarding a plane to Madrid for a long weekend.

Barrister Emmet Carty, counsel for Ms McCourt, said she had been talking with a shop assistant close to a champagne gondola when another passenger knocked the bottle down with his laptop bag.

Ms McCourt said the bottle exploded on the floor and glass struck her left eyebrow.

"There were pieces of glass and blood everywhere," she said.

She said airport workers had given her medical aid on the scene and her wound had been cleaned and stitched by ambulance staff. She had to go to hospital in Madrid to have the wound glued.

Ms McCourt, of Garnock Hill, Belfast, said her holiday had been ruined as she had been worried the whole time and the wound had left a 1cm scar.

She said: "It happened out of the blue. I know accidents happen all the time, but you don't think it will happen to you. I was very positive in life but now I am much more aware of everything.

"I'm always anxious when my daughter travels."

Dublin Airport Authority denied negligence. It claimed that the bottles had been held securely by shelf protectors and this had been an unfortunate and unforeseeable accident.

Judge Mahon, awarding Ms McCourt €32,000 and her legal costs, said the bottles of champagne should have been stacked in a more secure way.

"Ms McCourt had been fortunate that the piece of glass did not enter her eye," the judge said.

Irish Independent

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