A woman has received compensation for a bar slip and fall injury which has left her with reduced function in her thumb.
In May 2011, Sharon Kelly (44) of County Offaly attended a thirtieth birthday party at the Arc Café Bar on the Fonthill Road in Dublin. Shortly after midnight, Sharon crossed the wooden floor in the lobby area to go to the bathroom, slipped on some liquid spilt on the floor and dislocated her thumb as she tried to catch herself from the fall. The injury left her with a loss of sensation in her thumb, and a reduced pinch grip.
Sharon sought legal counsel, and made a Dublin bar injury compensation claim against Lackabeg Limited trading as the Arc Café Bar, claiming that there had been a failure to monitor the condition of the floor surfaces and take corrective action when a risk of injury was identified.
Lackabeg Limited denied liability for Sharon´s injury, and contested the Dublin bar injury compensation claim on the grounds that the bar had a comprehensive and thorough cleaning system in place. The owners of the bar alleged that Sharon had been drinking at the party for more than five hours and was wearing four-inch heels at the time of her accident, and thus had contributed to her own injuries.
With liability contested, the Injuries Board issued Sharon with an authorisation to pursue her Dublin bar injury compensation claim in court. The case was heard by Mr Justice Anthony Barr at the High Court a short while ago.
During the hearing, Judge Barr was told that the liquid on the floor could either have been caused by a patron spilling their drink or water being walked out from the ladies toilet. The judge accepted the evidence of two other women that the toilets in the public bar had been in poor condition that night and complaints were made to bar staff.
The judge also reviewed CCTV footage of the circumstances surrounding Sharon’s accident, and heard that the bar had been particularly busy that evening due to a two-for-one drinks promotion to promote a televised Champions League football match. The judge said he was satisfied that there was liquid on the wooden floor where Sharon slipped and fell, and thus she was not liable.
Awarding Sharon €90,000 in settlement of her Dublin bar injury compensation claim, Judge Barr said: “People cannot be expected to look at the floor when walking across a bar. She was entitled to expect that the floor was dry and it was safe for her to walk across it.”