Wednesday 26 October 2016

Woman awarded €75,000 after breaking ankle while crossing embankment leaving shopping centre

Tim Healy

Published 25/02/2016 | 17:28

Louise Byrne
Louise Byrne

A WOMAN has been awarded €75,000 in High Court damages after she slipped and broke her ankle when crossing a grassy embankment to leave a shopping centre car park.

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Louise Byrne (48), of Parslickstown Avenue, Mulhuddart, Dublin, sued Ardenheath Company and Ardenheath Management Company, owners and operators of the Mountview Shopping Centre, Blanchardstown, Dublin.

The accident happened on December 20, 2012, after Ms Byrne, an information officer, had parked her car and was crossing the embankment which she claimed was slippery and dangerous.

The defendants denied the claims.

Mr Justice Michael Hanna was satisfied the defendants had a duty of care and could have taken steps to ensure people did not use the embankment or to have made it safe.  Ms Byrne had simply followed others who were using it, he said.

He awarded her €125,000 but found contributory negligence of 40 per cent which cut the award to just over €75,000.

He granted a stay pending appeal on condition the defendants pay out €30,000.

In her action, Ms Byrne said she was leaving the shopping centre car park when the accident happened.

She claimed the defendants failed to take reasonable steps to ensure her safety including that there was a safe pathway, steps and guardrail from the car park down the embankment.

She also said they ought have known the embankment was used as an exit by people using the car park and that it was slippery and dangerous.  There was also a failure to put up warning signs that it was an unsafe route, it was claimed.

Ms Byrne said she was in a plaster cast for a number of weeks and unable to work for about six months.

The defendants, in denying negligence, said they took reasonable precautions to ensure patrons' safety.

They said Ms Byrne failed to follow the entry and exit routes and failed to have adequate caution for her own safety.

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