Tuesday 27 September 2016

Dublin hotel owners' defence to personal injuries claim by staff member struck out for 'unconscionable delay'

Saurya Cherfi

Published 14/12/2015 | 14:01

Judge Groarke awarded Tsekova €26,000 damages along with her legal costs.
Judge Groarke awarded Tsekova €26,000 damages along with her legal costs.

The owners of a Dublin hotel have had their defence to a personal injuries claim by one of its staff struck out for “unconscionable delay” and lack of cooperation in dealing with the case.

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Today Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, awarded the injured woman, Milena Tsekova, €26,000 damages against Triglen Holdings Ltd, which trades as the Russell Court Hotel, of Harcourt Street.

Barrister Shane English told the court that Ms Tsekova’s claim had become a matter of assessing damages only as the hotel’s defence had been struck out during an earlier court application.

He said Ms Tsekova, who is now working in London, had been a bar tender at the hotel in March 2008 when she jarred her back after stumbling due to a depression in the floor behind the bar.  She had not actually fallen.

Mr English, who appeared with Gore and Grimes solicitors, said Ms Tsekova was taken by ambulance to the A&E department of St James’ Hospital in Dublin, complaining of lower back pain.

She had suffered soft tissue injuries and had taken time off work.  She had needed to undergo several sessions of physiotherapy.  The court heard she had ongoing pain and regularly attends a chiropractor.

Forensic engineer Pat Cullon described the defect in the floor surface as “an accident waiting to happen,” as conditions behind the bar on the night had been frenetic.

The court heard that the hotel’s defence had been struck out last May on the grounds of unconscionable delay and for failure to comply with several court orders, including a failure to provide inspection facilities.

Judge Groarke awarded Tsekova €26,000 damages along with her legal costs.

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