Tuesday 17 September 2019

Man who slipped on wet floor at Copper Face Jacks awarded €87k

Colin McNamara, from Sycamore Avenue, Rathbane, Co. Limerick.Pic: Collins Courts
Colin McNamara, from Sycamore Avenue, Rathbane, Co. Limerick.Pic: Collins Courts

Tim Healy

A man who claimed he slipped on a wet floor at Copper Face Jacks nightclub in Dublin and broke his ankle has been awarded more than €87,000 by the High Court.

Colin McNamara, who is a bar manager, was in the nightclub after attending an Ireland soccer match at the Aviva Stadium three years ago.

Mr Justice Michael Hanna said it was a serious and significant injury, particularly with regard to the fact that Mr McNamara "has to be fleet of foot" in his job as a bar manager.

The judge said Mr McNamara slipped on a floor that was wet, presumably from spilled drink, and was absent from work for five months after the accident.

It was clear that it was at least an injury of moderate severity with the risk of facing surgery in the future, he said.

The appropriate compensation was €80,000, plus special damages of €7,116 to cover medical and other expenses, he said.

Mr McNamara (36), Sycamore Avenue, Rathbane, Co Limerick had sued Breanagh Catering Ltd, owners of  Copper Face Jacks in Harcourt Street as a result of the accident on October 9, 2015.

Mr McNamara claimed the wet floor represented an alleged slipping hazard to patrons and there was a failure to ensure it did not represent a danger to patrons.

The claims were denied.

However, the court was told that judgment in default of appearance against the defendant already and the case was before the court for assessment of damages only.

In evidence  Mr McNamara said bouncers came and picked him from the floor and brought him out to a back alley where a member of staff tended to his leg and looked at the ankle  and told him it was not broken.

He was told they could not ring for an ambulance and he "hobbled away" and got a taxi back to his hotel.

He said he was in a lot of pain that night and when he got back to Limerick he went to hospital where he was told he had fractured his ankle.

He later had to have surgery and was on crutches.

Mr Justice Hanna said he had an order of the court giving judgment against the defendant in this case.

Therefore, issues of liability did not arise.

It would have been open to the defendant to intervene in court to challenge the medical evidence and they had chosen not to do so, as  was their right, he said.

They had chosen to opt for a legal cost accountant and the defendant, although not represented, was not inactive, he said.  Attempts at resolution were not successful, he added.

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