Monday 23 September 2019

Tourist gets €67,000 for stairs fall in museum

Warren Baldwin (70), from Revesby, New South Wales, ruptured a leg tendon in the accident. (stock photo)
Warren Baldwin (70), from Revesby, New South Wales, ruptured a leg tendon in the accident. (stock photo)

Tim Healy

An Australian tourist who injured his leg when he slipped and rolled down stone stairs at the National Museum of Ireland has been awarded almost €67,000 by a High Court judge.

Warren Baldwin (70), from Revesby, New South Wales, ruptured a leg tendon in the accident.

Ms Justice Bronagh O'Hanlon said the Dublin museum's Portland stone steps had been shiny and slippery and he had suffered significant trauma, inconvenience and expense.

The accident occurred on June 5, 2016, on the second day of Mr Baldwin's trip to Ireland with his wife.

It was caused by negligence in failing to provide a railing for a person to hold onto the entire way down the seven-step staircase, the judge said.

The pensioner fell on the third step from the bottom.

The judge accepted the contention that because the railing stopped before the end of the staircase there was a tendency for people to move towards the centre portion.

The steps date to 1890, when the Kildare Street building was built.

The wrought-iron bannister topped by a wooden rail terminates at the third-last step where it joins a stone balustrade.

Ms Justice O'Hanlon found that had there been an adequate and safe handrail on the steps in question, Mr Baldwin would not have suffered the injury.

The museum failed in its duty to take reasonable care to ensure his safety, she said, awarding Mr Baldwin €66,989.

The historical institution contended the stairs were free from defects and there was one handrail.

It also pointed out more than 470,000 people visited the museum in 2016, the year of the accident, and Mr Baldwin was the only person who fell on the stairs.

Irish Independent

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