A MAN claims he was seriously injured when he fell three storeys from a hotel window which did not have a proper safety mechanism.
Jason Platt (43) was on a Valentines weekend trip to the Old Bank House in Kinsale, Co Cork, when he says he fell 27 feet feet after he tried to flick ash from his cigarette through the window, the High Court heard.
Mr Platt, from Merseyside, Liverpool, England, said he was flicking the ash because he was in a non-smoking bedroom and did not want the smoke alarm to go off.
He and his partner, Christine McKenna, were staying at the Old Bank House when he claims the accident took place on February 15, 2009.
The hotel owners deny his claims and say he threw himself from the window following a heated argument with Ms McKenna.
As a result of his injuries, Mr Platt has claimed he is unable to live independently and has to use crutches and a wheelchair.
He told the court he opened the right side of the third floor window and was smoking and "trying to blow smoke so no alarm would go off".
"I was leaning towards the window trying to flick cigarette ash away from our window when I lost my balance. All I remember is just going out the window," he said.
He added: "I remember thinking, am I alive, or am I paralysed?"
The court heard Mr Platt had actually landed on the pitched roof of a post office building below.
It took a number of hours to free him before he was transferred by ambulance to Cork University Hospital.
He suffered fractures to his spine, hip and thigh as well as several rib fractures. After three weeks he was transferred to a Liverpool hospital.
Mr Platt has sued OBH Luxury Accommodation Ltd with offices at Pearse Street, Kinsale, and company director Ciaran Fitzgerald as a result of the accident.
He has claimed there was an alleged failure to provide him with a safe hotel room and an alleged failure to have appropriate restraining mechanisms or safety bars fitted to the hotel windows.
The defendants contend he was guilty of contributory negligence and failed to exercise any care for his own safety.
Mr Platt told the court he and Ms McKenna, who was not feeling well, went to a a Chinese restaurant and he ordered food.
He said Ms McKenna went to the toilet and when she was returned she was not happy he was eating her soup and "was in a bit of a mood."
He said Ms McKenna decided to go back to the hotel and he followed her but realised he did not have a key to get in.
He was calling Ms McKenna outside the hotel door and then "shoulder banged it open".
He said Ms McKenna had been in the bathroom getting sick and he opened a window because the room was warm.
Cross examined by John Lucey SC, for the defendants, Mr Platt said he was mostly housebound since the accident but he admitted that he drove his car to collect marijuana because he was addicted to it.
He said marijuana was the only way "which kept the pain down."
The case before Mr Justice Bernard Barton continues on Tuesday.