Friday 23 August 2019

Woman sues ESB over 15ft fall as ground 'disappeared'

Alison McCurtin leaves court. Photo: Collins Courts
Alison McCurtin leaves court. Photo: Collins Courts

Tim Healy

A woman who claims she severely injured her back when she fell 15ft on to rocks while strolling at Blessington Lakes, in Wicklow, is suing the ESB in the High Court.

Mother-of-three Alison McCurtin is taking the action against ESB over the fall 14 years ago on the Lacken side of the ESB reservoir at Blessington.

She claims that on August 26, 2003, the ground disappeared underneath her and she fell backwards.

Ms McCurtin (38), of Orwell Park Green, Tempelogue, Dublin, was rescued from the rocks and taken to hospital where it was found vertebrae on her lower back were fractured, her counsel Richard McDonnell said.

Counsel said Ms McCurtin had to wear a back brace for roughly eight months, and won't ever be pain-free.

Ms McCurtin has claimed there was an alleged failure to have any adequate warning signs that the undercut shore banks were dangerous.

She has also claimed there was an alleged failure to warn that walking close to the edges of the banks should be prohibited. She has further claimed the ESB allowed her to use the lakeshore as a recreational walk, and that there was an alleged failure to monitor, inspect or examine the lakeshore for such dangers.

The ESB has denied the claims.

It contends Ms McCurtin allegedly failed to have any adequate regard for her own safety, and allegedly failed to take any adequate precautions for her own safety.

The ESB also claims Ms McCurtin allegedly failed to heed the signs it says were close to the area of the accident.

In a second case, Ms McCurtin has also sued in relation to an unrelated car accident on October 29, 2004, at Newline Road, Co Wexford.

She has sued the driver of a car, Bill Stafford, of Wittyshill, Wellington Bridge, Co Wexford, who ran in to the back of a car in which she was a passenger.

She has claimed the road accident exacerbated the injuries from the Blessington accident.

The court heard liability is admitted in the car accident case, which is before the court for assessment of damages only.

The case resumes on Tuesday before Mr Justice Anthony Barr.

Irish Independent

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