A WOMAN suing her former brother-in-law after she allegedly fell and broke her ankle in his home has denied she tripped over a black cat, the High Court heard.
Margaret Caldwell (52) of Oakleigh, Dublin Road, Navan, Meath, says she fell on a "crumbling step" in the accident on May 9, 2007.
She is suing her former brother-in-law, Eugene Caldwell, of Drumcargy, Upper Maracloon, Carrickmacross, Monaghan, over the accident which she says left her wheelchair bound for eight weeks.
Mr Caldwell denies the claims and says she told him she had tripped on the cat. He also says she had not said anything to him about a crumbling step.
He said there was a crack in the step but there was no difficulty walking on it. He said it had been replaced due to water seeping into the house.
Ms Caldwell, who is separated from her husband, Patrick Michael Caldwell, told the court that at the time of the accident, a cat had been sitting to the left of the "crumbling step" outside the house but she denied the fall was caused by the cat.
Her counsel, Finbarr Fox, suggested this story had arisen because the doctor who dealt with her at the hospital had not the greatest command of English when she had mentioned the cat's presence when explaining what happened.
The court heard her former husband contacted her in May 2009 to say his mother had been diagnosed with cancer and asked her her to come over to help with getting a room ready for her when she came out of hospital. While removing bags from the house, she felt a step crumbling beneath her.
She was brought to Dundalk Regional Hospital where she had an operation and had to use a wheelchair for eight weeks.
Joseph McGettigan, for the defendant, put it to Ms Caldwell that extracts from reports in two separate hospitals and from two people stated she had told the hospital authorities she had fallen over a cat.
The hearing has been adjourned until Friday.