Judge Approves Settlement for Fall Down Stairs of Pub Case

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A judge has approved a settlement of €250,000 in the case of a man who fell down the stairs of his local pub.

In April 2011, Frank McHugh (80) of Rathgar, Dublin was eating a meal with his family at the Stags Head pub in Dublin. During the meal, he needed to go to the bathroom, which were downstairs from the dining area. As he made is way downstairs, Frank tripped on the steps and fell. Due to the impact of the fall, Frank fractured his skull and suffered brain damage which left him in a coma. Frank requires care for the rest of his life, and has no recollection of the incident.

On behalf of his father, Peter McHugh made an claim for compensation for a fall down stairs of pub injury against the owners of the establishment-Shelbourne O’Brien Ltd. Peter claimed that there had been a failure to provide a safe means of accessing the toilets, and that there were no warning signs of the potential dangers of descending the stairwell.

The defendants denied liability for Frank’s injuries. They argued that Frank had failed to descend the stairs in a safe manner, and the fall that caused him such terrible injuries was a fault of his own negligence for his safety. Shelbourne O’Brien Ltd included CCTV footwear of Frank falling down the stairs in their defence. Frank is shown to be taking the first step onto the stairs, and then tumbling forward.

The case was heard at the Dublin High Court by Ms Justice Mary Irvine. In spite of the company contesting that they were liable for Frank’s injuries, they offered a settlement of €250,000 to Frank through his family. The judge was informed that Frank’s family were advised to accept the offer, even though it was only a small fraction of what a full compensation award would amount to.

The judge agreed that the offer of compensation given by the company would not cover many of Frank’s healthcare costs, but approved the settlement on the grounds that it was unlikely Frank´s injury claim for a fall down the stairs of a pub would be successful if it went to a full trial due to a lack of evidence.



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