Saturday 19 October 2019

Woman who suffered 'life changing experience' when luggage fell on Ryanair plane awarded €67k

Phyllis Brady of Inishmann Road, Gaeltacht Park, Whitehall, Dublin 9 pictured at the Four Courts for a Circuit Civil Court action. Pic: Collins Courts
Phyllis Brady of Inishmann Road, Gaeltacht Park, Whitehall, Dublin 9 pictured at the Four Courts for a Circuit Civil Court action. Pic: Collins Courts

Simone Smith

An 80-year-old woman, who suffered a life-changing experience when a piece of overhead luggage had fallen on her on a Ryanair plane, has been awarded €67,000 damages against the airline.

Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke had heard that Phyllis Brady of Inishmann Road, Gaeltacht Park, Whitehall, Dublin 9, had been returning from Malaga in October 2015 when she had been hit by a bag after the plane had just landed at Dublin Airport.

Judge Groarke heard that a heavy bag had fallen on her when another passenger had opened the overhead locker. The bag had struck Ms Brady on her face, neck and shoulder. Liability had been conceded by Ryanair and the court was being asked to assess the amount of damages due to Ms Brady.

She told her counsel Michael Byrne SC, that following the incident she had suffered pain to her right shoulder and temple. She said she had felt dizzy and had to stop numerous times on her way to the medical officer in the airport.

Prior to the accident she had been very active and independent and said the incident had compromised her considerably.  She had no longer been able to carry out household and life tasks to her usual standard.

Judge Groarke, in awarding her €35,000 damages for pain and suffering; €30,000 special damages and €2,366 for expenses, said that prior to the accident Ms Brady had an “extraordinarily active life”. She had been able to carry out all domestic chores and gardening and her independence had been treasured greatly by her.

He said that although Ms Brady was a very young 80 she had a difficult time in the last three and a half years. He said she had remained optimistic and had done her best to get on with her life.

Judge Groarke said had a tear in her shoulder prior to the luggage having hit on the plane but it had been very likely she had suffered no symptoms until after the accident.

He said she had undergone a life-changing experience and she had been living with pain on a daily basis.

Barrister Andrew Walker, who appeared with Audrey Mc Ginley of Ronan Daly Jermyn Solicitors for Ryanair, asked the court for a stay on order on the basis that €35,000 be paid out to Ms Brady.

Judge Groarke said Ryanair was entitled to a stay and directed that Ms Brady, in the meantime, be paid out €45,000. He said Ms Brady’s doctor had not been able to suggest an any more pleasant picture than what he had described in his judgment.

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