Woman who 'fell 15 feet to rocks below after ground collapsed' on lakeside walk sues in High Court
A woman who claims the ground went from under her and she severely injured her back when she fell fifteen feet on to rocks below while strolling at Blessington Lakes has sued in the High Court.
Mother-of-three Alison McCurtin has taken the action against the ESB over the fall fourteen years ago on the Lacken side of the ESB reservoir at Blessington when she claims the ground disappeared underneath her and she fell backwards.
The 38-year old woman, her senior counsel Richard McDonnell told the High Court, was rescued from the rocks at Blessington reservoir and taken to hospital where it was found vertebrae on her lower back were fractured. Counsel said Ms McCurtain had to wear a back brace for about eight months afterwards and it is her case she won't ever be pain free.
Alison McCurtin,(38), Orwell Park Green, Tempelogue, Dublin has sued the ESB as a result of the fall while she walked along the banks of Blessington Reservoir on August 26, 2003.
She has claimed that owing to alleged negligence she was caused to fall backwards to the shore below when the ground allegedly disappeared from under her.
She has claimed there was an alleged failure to have any adequate warning signs that the undercut shore banks were dangerous and an alleged failure to warn those present that walking close to the edges of the banks should be prohibited.
She has further claimed the ESB allowed her to use the lake shore as a recreational walk when the allegedly undermined banks were a trap because they looked solid.
There was, she has further claimed an alleged failure to monitor inspect or examine the lakeshore for such dangers and a dangerous hazard at a well known recreational location was allegedly created by an alleged failure to ensure the area was safe for recreational walking.
The ESB has denied the claims and contends Ms McCurtain allegedly failed to have any or any adequate regard for her own safety and allegedly failed to take any or any adequate precautions for her own safety. The ESB also claims Ms McCurtain 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, Wittyshill, Wellington Bridge, Co Wexford which ran in to the back of a car in which she was a passenger.
She has claimed that the road accident exacerbated the injuries from the Blessington accident. The court heard liability is admitted in car accident case which is before the court for assessment of damages only.
Opening the case Mr McDonnell SC said Ms McCurtin was walking along with friends enjoying the view at Blessington when all of a sudden the ground under her collapsed and she fell fifteen feet to the rocks below.
He said his side will claim that the accident was allegedly foreseeable. Ms McCurtain he said expected to return to the workforce when her third child was aorund seven years of age and as a result has submitted a claim for loss of earnings.
The case before Mr Justice Anthony Barr continues next Tuesday.