Tuesday 20 August 2019

Waiter suing over slip in restaurant ten years ago videoed 'without limp' tells court he 'walks through the pain'

Maurice Durnin says he has suffered pain after twisting his ankle
Maurice Durnin says he has suffered pain after twisting his ankle

Tim Healy

A retired waiter suing over a slip and fall in a pub he worked in ten years ago told the High Court he “walks through the pain” to continue doing various daily activities.

Maurice Durnin (71) is suing James Cogan, owner of Cogan's Bar and restaurant, Milltown Malbay, Co Clare, over the injury he says he suffered in a fall on a wet floor while serving breakfast to two customers on March 3, 2009. The claims are denied.

During cross examination of Mr Durnin on Thursday in the High Court, video footage taken by a private investigator for the bar showed Mr Durnin at various times in the last few years walking his dog, going to hospital appointments, filling up his car at a petrol station and shopping at a supermarket.

Counsel for Cogan's Bar, Padraig McCartan, suggested to Mr Durnin he was capable of doing “an awful lot more than you say.”

Mr Durnin replied he won't give in to the pain and does his best.

Counsel asked why was it when he visited doctors he was wearing an ankle brace and using a crutch but he was not when out on walks and shopping, Mr Durnin replied he "wears them at times."

Counsel said in one of the videos no limp was to be seen anywhere.

“I have been told to walk so the ankle does not seize up, I have to push my way through it," he said.

Ms Justice Bronagh O Hanlon warned both sides of the case that "the stakes are high" and she hoped there will be more than legal research done overnight, if there is wisdom.

After the clip showing Mr Durnin filling up his car at a petrol station and walking in to the shop to pay was played, Mr McCartan put it to Mr Durnin there was “ no limp there.”

Ms Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon asked the pensioner what was his answer.

"As far as I know I had a slight limp," Mr Durnin replied.

Mr Durnin, Banteer, Co Cork claims he turned over on his right ankle in the accident and he is now disabled in certain day-to-day activities.

He claims there was failure to ensure the floor was in a safe condition.

All the claims are denied and it is contended there was contributory negligence including that he did not look where he was walking and had failed to clean up the floor.

The court also viewed footage of Mr Durnin walking at Killarney National Park. Asked was there any sign of a limp, Mr Durnin said: “I possibly had a small ankle brace on me.”

Another video showed Mr Durnin using a crutch as he attended a hospital appointment but he was not using a crutch as he entered a restaurant.

The case continues.

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