independent

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Mum who broke ankle in ice fall at Connolly Station awarded €50,000

A train arrives in the snow at Connolly Station today. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
A train arrives in the snow at Connolly Station

A woman who broke her ankle when she fell on ice and snow after getting off a train has been awarded €50,000 by a High Court judge.

Mother-of-two Ciara Morgan told the court an Irish Rail worker at Connolly Station in Dublin helped her and "stuck her in a shopping trolley" to try and get her up the platform, but that fell over, tipping her on to the ice again.

"He tried to lift me and then got a trolley and put me in the baby seat with my legs over the trolley handle, but the trolley went over," she said.

Ms Morgan (32), a clerical worker from Summerville Glebe, Kentstown, Co Meath, was returning from a Belfast Christmas shopping trip with her mother on December 21, 2010.

She said after the accident she spent the next eight weeks with a plaster on her fractured ankle and was on crutches.

"I will never get that Christmas back when my first child was three years of age. It was a horrible time for all my family," she said.

Making the award plus costs, Ms Justice Bronagh O'Hanlon said Ms Morgan, a working mother, had been caused to trip on compacted ice after the train pulled in to an uncovered platform.

Ms Morgan, the judge said had suffered significant ankle injuries and had recurrent back difficulties as a result.

Ms Morgan sued Irish Rail claiming a failure to give any warning of the presence of ice and snow on the platform, failure to clear it and failure to grit and salt it.

Irish Rail admitted liability and the case was before the court for assessment of damages only.

Ms Morgan told the court she now has trouble with her back when she lifts her second toddler and cannot wear high heels.

She is a HSE clerical worker said was out of work for nine weeks as a result of the accident.

Opening the case for her, Colm Hennessy BL said the last train from Belfast had come in at a platform which was exposed to the elements.

He said it was snowing and Ms Morgan fell on frozen ice. A member of Irish Rail staff got a shopping trolley to get her up the platform, but the journey was "hapless and comical" as the trolley fell over.

A wheelchair was then procured to try and push Ms Morgan though the ice. Counsel said her father brought her to the Mater Hospital but she was advised she would have to wait eight hours to be seen, so she went home and attended a medical clinic the next day.

Irish Rail solicitor, Gerard O'Herlihy, said Ms Morgan had an unfortunate fall in very bad weather. He said Irish Rail put its hands up and it should have cleared the platform but he contended her back problems were not as a result of the accident.

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