Friday 22 February 2019

Wheelchair user (82) suing Irish Rail after fall on train station escalator

Paul Flood, son of the plaintiff Christina Flood (PIC: COURTPIX.)
Paul Flood, son of the plaintiff Christina Flood (PIC: COURTPIX.)

An 82-year-old woman fell on an escalator in a train station after having to get out of her wheelchair because a lift was out of order, it was claimed in the High Court.

It is claimed Christina Flood suffered rib fractures ribs and a collapsed lung in the fall at Connolly Station in Dublin after her son helped her on to the escalator.

The son, Paul Flood, denied that while his mother was waiting for an ambulance, he was talking about personal injury solicitors.

Mrs Flood (now 84), of Foley Street, Dublin through Paul, has sued Irish Rail as a result of the fall on October 2, 2012.

It is claimed she was left with no option but to attempt, with the help of her son, to use the escalator.

It is also claimed there was  an alleged failure to provide Mrs Flood with a safe means of access and egress from the train station.

There has been a marked deterioration in the quality of Mrs Flood's life along with her ability to socialise and mobilise since the accident, it is claimed.

Irish Rail deny all the claims. 

Mr Justice Bernard Barton was told that the lift came back in operation about 15 minutes after the accident.

In evidence, Mr Flood said he and his mother used to take the DART to Howth a few times a week.

In October 2012, his mother could walk on her own for about 200 yards and he used a wheelchair to bring her to Howth.

On return from one such outing, they arrived in Connolly where there were no signs to say the lift was not working.  If he had known, he would have continued to the next station, he said.

When he saw the lift was out of order, he waved to the CCTV cameras to attract attention.

"I was waving at the cameras. My mother was in a panic because she wanted to get to the bathroom," he said.

He said his mother managed to get on the escalator and was half way up when  she fell down.

"She kept rolling. Somebody stopped the escalator."

Cross examined by Irish Rail solicitor, Gerard O'Herlihy, Mr Flood said he did not see another wheelchair user near the escalator.

Mr O'Herlihy put it to him that another man was pushing his brother in wheelchair and had told Mr Flood his father had gone to get assistance.

Mr Flood replied he did not hear this being said.

Mr O'Herlihy said the other man will tell the court he heard Mr Flood's mother say " don't put me on the escalator."

Mr Flood said he did not hear his mother say that.

When the solicitor put it to him that his mother had a history of repeated falls, Mr Flood said he did not remember that.

Mr O'Herlihy put it to him that the station master at Connolly would give evidence  he heard a discussion about personal injury solicitors. Mr Flood replied: "I never said anything like that . That is wrong."

The case continues next week.

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