Woman wins €28k after fall from her toilet

Isabela O'Sullivan (61) of Rathsallagh Grove, Shankill, Co. Dublin leaving court after she was awarded almost €28,000 damages for injuries which she received when she fell off the toilet in her home

By Saurya Cherfi

A 61-year-old carer who was injured when she fell off the toilet in her home has been awarded almost €28,000 in damages at the Circuit Civil Court.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane said that Isabela O'Sullivan got such a fright from a falling tile as she sat on the toilet that she had fallen forward, injuring her right knee.

Barrister William Martin Smith told the court that Ms O'Sullivan, only weeks before the September 2011 accident, had her bathroom re-tiled following a fire at her house in Rathsallagh Grove, Shankill, Dublin.

She sued contractor Neil Kelly, of Old Road, Monasterboice, Drogheda, Co Louth, who had been hired by her insurance company to carry out remedial work to her home.

Kelly, who had employed a tiler to do the work, denied liability for alleged negligence or that the work had not been done properly.


Judge Linnane said Mr Kelly believed Ms O'Sullivan's claim was fraudulent and that she had prised the tile off the wall because she wanted different tiles.

Mr Martin Smith said Ms O'Sullivan had gone to the bathroom on September 8, 2011. As she sat on the toilet she had noticed a flashing shadow of the tile as it fell from the top row. The fright had caused her to fall forward off the toilet seat.

He said she had lain on the floor for several minutes before managing to call one of her friends. Ms O'Sullivan said she had needed to attend her GP several times, complaining of ongoing pain in her knee.

Mr Martin Smith told the court X-rays had revealed Ms O'Sullivan had an underlying degenerative condition in her knee. He said she was no longer able to go for long walks as she used to.

The court heard the 24 inch by 13 inch tile, weighing three kilos (almost seven lbs) had broken the toilet seat when it fell.

Ms O'Sullivan was awarded €25,000 damages for pain and suffering, along with €2,500 for replacing all of the tiles and expenses of €350.