Tuesday 21 October 2014

Man who fell down stairs on Dublin Bus loses €38k injury claim

Saurya Cherfi

Published 19/05/2014 | 17:07

A DUBLIN man, who claimed he was injured after he fell in the stairway of a Dublin bus, has lost a €38,000 damages claim in the Circuit Civil Court.

Michael Brady (41) sued Dublin Bus for negligence. He claimed he fell after a plastic bottle got “trapped” under his right foot, while the bus had been travelling at speed as he was descending the stairway.

As a result of his fall Mr Brady broke two teeth and injured his right ankle. Mr Brady’s claims were denied by Dublin Bus.

In his ruling today Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke found Dublin Bus had not been negligent and dismissed Mr Brady’s claim.

Mr Brady told the court that on the afternoon of August, 29, 2012, he had been travelling on the upper deck of a bus. He heard a “crunching sound” under his foot when he got up from his seat.

Mr Brady said that it was only when he started descending the stairs that he noticed and tried to remove a plastic bottle which was stuck under his foot.

He told Dublin Bus solicitor, Gerard O’Herlihy, that the bus was driven fast as it turned around a corner, causing him to lose his balance and fall down the stairs, hitting his head. He temporarily lost consciousness.

Mr Brady, of Collins Avenue, Whitehall, Dublin, said when he woke up he felt pain in his ankle and in his mouth, which was bleeding. He had broken two teeth- an upper left incisor and a lower canine. 

The court heard that Mr Brady was taken by ambulance to the A&E Department of Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, where X-rays revealed no fracture. He suffered a soft tissue injury to his ankle and underwent physiotherapy sessions.

He said he was still experiencing pain in his ankle and his personal activities had been affected. He could not afford to have his teeth repaired. He sued Dublin Bus for negligence.

Dublin Bus denied liability. In his submissions to the court Mr O'Herlihy said CCTV footage showed the bus was not driven fast at the time of Mr Brady's fall.  He added the bus was serviced and cleaned the night before Mr Brady's fall.

Mr O’Herlihy said the bus was a public transport and the bottle may have been dropped at any time. He said it was not possible to have someone with a “mop and bucket coming to clean the bus at every stop.”

Judge Groarke, dismissing the claim, said Mr Brady suffered very nasty injuries, but CCTV evidence showed that passengers seemed comfortably seated in the bus at the time of Mr Brady's fall.  This suggested that the bus was not travelling at speed, the Judge said.

The Judge added that the bus did not appear to have been “scattered with litter.”  He made no order regarding the legal costs of today’s hearing.  

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