Wednesday 28 September 2016

Mum who slipped on manhole cover during Dublin Zoo family day out launches legal action

Published 22/06/2016 | 18:32

Gwen Leost Kane, of Beechdale Court, Firhouse, Dublin pictured leaving the Four Courts after judgement was reserved in her High Court action for damages.Pic: Collins Courts
Gwen Leost Kane, of Beechdale Court, Firhouse, Dublin pictured leaving the Four Courts after judgement was reserved in her High Court action for damages.Pic: Collins Courts

A woman who slipped on a manhole cover during a family day out to Dublin Zoo has launched a High Court action for damages.

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Gwen Leost Kane said she and her husband had balloons and cake to celebrate their son Gabriel's first birthday but instead she ended up in hospital after the fall.

Ms Kane fractured her ankle after slipping while pushing her child's buggy outside the sea lions' enclosure.

She was in plaster for seven weeks and had to have crutches for sixteen weeks and was left with a 10cm scar on her foot, she says.

Ms Kane (43) from Beechdale Court, Firhouse, Dublin, sued the Zoologicial Society of Ireland over the fall while on June 12, 2011.

She claimed there was a failure to adequately supervise the premises to ensure the sea lions' enclosure and its surrounding amenities, visitor walkways, and viewing area, were safe for people expected to walk through that area even in wet weather.

She also claimed an accumulation of rainwater had been permitted on a pedestrian walkway and the metal manhole cover.

Mr Justice Anthony Barr was told liability was admitted in the case and it was before the court for assessment of damages only.

In evidence Ms Kane said she fell backwards after slipping and heard her bone crack.

"It has affected my life a lot. I used to wear a lot of high heels".

She added: "There is a heavy scar and I am now confined to comfortable footwear. I suffer pain every day."

Ms Kane said she found it difficult after the accident looking after her young son.

Mr Justice Barr reserved his decision.

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