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Monday 25 September 2017

Air hostess who injured hand in door loses €60k claim against city hotel

Fabiele Marques de Abreu
Fabiele Marques de Abreu

An air hostess who injured her right hand while employed as a waitress has lost a €60,000 injuries claim against the Dublin hotel where she worked.

Fabiele Marques de Abreu had flown from her home in Brazil to make her claim in the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.

She was accompanied by Brazilian and Spanish colleagues who had worked with her as housekeepers at The Castle Hotel, Dublin, when she injured herself in 2013.

On her Facebook page, Ms Marques (29) said she had loved Dublin and the 12 months she spent there and had "brought Dublin with me to Brazil".

She told Judge Brian O'Callaghan yesterday that she had to give up a photography course because of her injury and had since become a flight attendant with a Brazilian airline.

She said she is now unable to properly hold a camera and has to regularly switch hands when wheeling her suitcase through airports.

Barrister Matthew Jolley told the court that Findlater Hotels, which trades as The Castle Hotel, said the accident was of Ms Marques' own making and that, as such, it could not be held responsible.

Mr Jolley said she opened a kitchen door across herself with her left hand while holding a glass ice flask in her dominant right hand.

Surgery

The door, which Ms Marques claimed had a defective spring- loaded opening mechanism, smashed against the glass and cut her hand.

Findlater Hotels denied the mechanism was faulty.

Ms Marques had to have surgery under general anaesthetic for exploration and repair of the digital nerve on her right hand.

She claimed to have lost feeling in a middle finger and had been left with a small cosmetic scar.

Judge O'Callaghan said Ms Marques had suffered "a nasty injury", and added that while she and her colleagues had given evidence of the door sometimes opening too quickly, none of them had reported any suspected defect to management.

The judge said a member of the hotel staff had told him she had used the same door on the morning of the accident and it had been operating properly.

Dismissing Ms Marques' claim and awarding estimated legal costs of up to €10,000 against her, he said that to hold the hotel responsible for a door opening faster than she had anticipated would be stretching too far its duty of care.

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