Ryanair making an injured air hostess pay for her flight home was not an aggravating factor in a €60,000 personal injury claim against the airline, a judge has ruled.
Judge Francis Comerford in the Circuit Civil Court awarded cabin crew member Laura Albacete (28), from Manelvidal, Vielha, Spain, €30,000 damages against Ryanair.
She was injured when she tumbled down the rear steps of a Boeing aircraft.
Samantha Cruess Callaghan, counsel for Ms Albacete, told the court her client had fallen from the top to the bottom of an air stairs, operated hydraulically from the rear of the plane, on a wet morning at Cork Airport on February 11, 2012.
She said Ms Albacete struck her head and was knocked unconscious for a brief period.
Ms Albacete said she was taken by ambulance to Cork University Hospital where she was examined and found to have suffered a head injury and a sprained ankle.
She said that following treatment she decided to fly home to Spain to recover and Ryanair had insisted she pay for her air fare.
Judge Comerford heard she had suffered from headaches following the accident and had also sustained a possible post-traumatic optic neuropathy. She remained in Spain for six months before returning to work but had given up the job she loved after a short period.
Judge Comerford said he accepted absolutely that the aeroplane was in good and proper condition and it had not been negligent of Ryanair to use it at the time. Ms Albacete was injured in an unfortunate fall on the stairs which, following the incident, had been found by a number of Ryanair staff, including the flight captain, to be wet and slippery. The airline had no knowledge of these wet and slippery conditions prior to the accident.
For pain and suffering and disruption to her lifestyle he awarded her €21,000, with an extra €9,000 for difficulties she had experienced with her eyes for a short time after the fall.