News Courts

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Woman who slipped in a pool of vomit at a Dublin cafe bar receives €64k in damages

Published 08/07/2014 | 17:54

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8/7/2014
Sarah Jane Burdis, of Grangemore Grove, Donaghmede, Dublin 13 pictured leaving the Four Courts yesterday(Tues) after she was awarded €60,000 damages following a High Court action against Wrights Cafe Bar Airside Ltd.Pic: Collins Courts
Sarah Jane Burdis pictured leaving the Four Courts after she was awarded €60,000 damages following a High Court action against Wrights Cafe Bar Airside Ltd

A WOMAN who slipped and fell on a pool of vomit at a cafe bar has been awarded more than €64,000 by the High Court.

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Mr Justice Kevin Cross said he found 29-year old mother of two Sarah Jane Burdis to be an honest witness who did not exaggerate any of her symptoms.

Her level of disability, the judge said, was not at the top of the scale, but was still significant as she was person in her 20s  who is going to have pain in the future.

Ms Burdis, Grangemore Grove, Donaghmede, Dublin, had sued Wright's Cafe Bar Airside Ltd, with offices at Seatown Road, Swords, Co Dublin, as a result of the slip and fall at the "Wright Venue" in the Airside Retail Park on July 9, 2011.

She claimed the cafe company neglected or failed to clean the vomit from the floor and it presented a hazard for her. She further claimed there was a failure to give any or adequate warning of the vomit on the floor.  Liability was accepted and the case was before the court for assessment of damages.

In evidence, Ms Burdis said she was sitting at a table in the cafe bar and when she went to stand, she fell on a pool of vomit on the floor.

She said people came to her assistance and she was picked up and put sitting down again.

Somebody brought her to the toilets to clean her clothes.  

She said it was very hard afterwards to do her job as a swimming instructor and she was limited in the movement she could do.  She later changed to secretarial work

The court heard after the fall Ms Burdis got an immediate headache and had pain the next day and went to a doctor and continues to suffer from lower back pain.

Mr Justice Cross said liability was not contested which was a sensible attitude to adopt.

He accepted the level of pain was severe  and as a result Ms Burdis had to change her work from a school swimming instructor to a more sedentary position.

Ms Burdis' pain will subside but not entirely, the judge said.

She had received injections for pain and while now her level of pain has lessened and is less frequent it is aggravated by housework  and exertion such as jogging, which she used to enjoy.

He awarded general damages for pain and suffering to date of €45,000 and €15,000 for pain and suffering in to the future.  He also gave her special damages which were agreed at €4,325 bringing the total award to €64,325 plus costs.

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