Courts

Friday 25 July 2014

Woman injured at Ann Summers lingerie party loses action

Aodhan O'Faolain

Published 01/04/2014|12:10

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Sylvia Deehan2...11/6/2013
Sylvia Deehan, of Maple Avenue, Ballybrack, Dublin, leaving court after she was unsuccessful in her Civil Court action for damages.Pic: Collins Courts
Sylvia Deehan of Maple Avenue, Ballybrack, Dublin

The High Court has dismissed a woman's damages claim for injuries she said she sustained after being knocked down at an Ann Summers lingerie party held at a Dublin pub.

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In his judgment today Mr Justice Max Barrett ruled that Ms Sylvia  Deehan was not entitled to recover damages against the owners of the Lough Inn public house, and threw out her action.

The Judge said he accepted Ms Deehan was a decent woman who was entitled to sympathy for the injuries she suffered following her fall in the pub. The Judge said he said accepted her version of events of what happened that night.

However the Judge said he could not find that the Lough Inn had been negligent, He added that it had not been proven the pub, on the night of the incident, "failed to take all reasonable steps to safeguard its patrons against risks and dangers that were foreseeable." 

Ms Deehan (46), a mother of two of Maple Avenue, Ballybrack, Dublin, has sued Loughlinstown Inn Ltd, trading as the Lough Inn Public House, for damages.  Her claims were denied.

Ms Deehan alleged she was pushed by another woman who was striving to grab a prize, described “as a ring that goes around a certain part of a man,” which had been thrown in the air by an Ann Summers representative at the pub at Loughlinstown, Co Dublin.

The alleged incident occurred as part of a ladies night held in the public house, prior to a performance by the ‘Hunks of Desire’ male stripper troupe on January 21st 2011 last.

The action came before Dublin Circuit Court last June but was dismissed. Ms Deehan appealed that ruling to the High Court.

The appeal was heard over three days and involved testimony for number of people who were present on the night of the alleged incident, staff at the bar, engineering experts as well as a friend and a relative of Ms Deehan's.

Following his ruling the Judge said he was making no order in respect of the costs of the High Court appeal , meaning that both sides will have to pay their own legal costs.  The Judge said he was not interfere with the costs order made against Ms Deehan in the Circuit Court.

The Court heard that before the stripper event- the highlight of the night attended by approximately 70 people, Ms Deehan and a friend were one of several pairs that participated in a game involving bursting balloons between their bodies.

After she and her friend tied for first place with another couple having burst the most balloons, the Ann Summers representative threw the prize up in the air between them.

As she went for the prize, she was shoved aside by another woman and fell against the leg of a loudspeaker, injuring her ribs, she said.

She was unable to breathe properly and was crouched over. Her sister took her to hospital that night and she spent a fortnight in bed recovering from her injuries.

The pub had denied her claim, and argued that if Ms Deehan did suffer any injuries that night they were not sustained in the Lough Inn.

The pub in its defence had argued that Ms Deehan did not fall as she had alleged.

The pubs lawyers claimed that she had been boisterous and was escorted off the premises as, it was alleged, she had too much to drink that night.

That allegation was rejected by Ms Deehan.

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