€90k for woman who slipped on wet floor in bar
Judge says she was entitled to expect it was safe to walk
A 44-year-old woman who slipped on a bar floor and dislocated her thumb has been awarded €90,000 by a High Court judge.
Mr Justice Anthony Barr said Sharon Kelly's fall was captured on CCTV in the Dublin bar, and he was satisfied there was liquid on the parquet floor in the area where she slipped.
Ms Kelly, from Co Offaly, sued Lackabeg Ltd, trading as The Arc Café Bar, as a result of the fall after 1am on May 29, 2011. The company denied her claims.
She had been attending a 30th birthday party at the bar in Liffey Valley, Fonthill Road, Dublin, and was wearing four-inch heels at the time, the court heard.
The judge said the liquid she slipped on may have come from the wet floor in the ladies toilet or may have been due to patrons spilling their drinks. "This area should have been monitored carefully throughout the evening and corrective action taken when drinks were spilt," the judge said.
Ms Kelly said that while she was crossing the wooden floor area in the Lobby Bar on her way to the toilets, she slipped and fell.
Lackabeg Ltd denied there was any water or other liquid on the floor surface - and said it had a comprehensive cleaning system in operation on the night in question.
Mr Justice Barr said while there was a system in place for dealing with spillages, he was not satisfied that it was properly implemented on the night, when it was very busy.
It was likely, he said, the staff were so busy serving drinks and collecting empty glasses, they were not able to take sufficient care to keep the floor dry and clean.
The judge said a Champions League Final was being shown on a television screen and a two-for-one drinks promotion was available that night. He also accepted the evidence of two other women that the toilets in the public bar had been in poor condition that night and that complaints had been made to bar staff about this.
Ms Kelly, the judge said, had a moderate amount of drink over more than five hours.
The judge said: "People cannot be expected to look at the floor when walking across a bar.
"She was entitled to expect that the floor was dry and it was safe for her to walk across it."