Sunday 23 October 2016

Woman awarded €40k after fall on airport's escalator


Elizabeth Lavin, of Calverstown, Kilcullen, Co. Kildare, leaving court. She was awarded €40,000 in damages.
Elizabeth Lavin, of Calverstown, Kilcullen, Co. Kildare, leaving court. She was awarded €40,000 in damages.

a WOMAN who fell on an escalator at Dublin Airport has been awarded €40,000.

Mr Justice Michael Hanna said he was satisfied that if Elizabeth Lavin (69) had taken the airport lift no accident would have taken place involving "an unfortunate neophyte in the ways of escalators".

He also said had sufficient signs been available at the time of the accident four years ago, Mrs Lavin probably would have availed of the lift to departures at Terminal 2.

In 2013, there was a change in signage at Terminal 2 with a sign erected showing there was a lift, he said.


However, at the time of the accident there was such no sign. Signage and available advice, the judge told the High Court, are the best options when accommodating mass transit.

He did not fault Mrs Lavin for not resting her hand appropriately on the handrail or for having her bag behind her instead of in front of her.

However, he ruled there was contributory negligence on her part for not asking for help from an airport assistant who could have pointed her to the lifts.

In making an award of €60,000, he assessed contributory negligence at one third, bringing that down to €40,000.

Mrs Lavin, Blackhall, Calverstown, Kilcullen, Co Kildare, has sued the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) as a result of the fall on the escalator on November 2, 2011.

She had claimed that suddenly and without warning she was caused to fall down on her face as she was travelling up the escalator.

She claimed there was an alleged failure to take reasonable care and that she was permitted to use the escalator when the DAA knew or ought to have known that it was unsafe.

The claims were denied.

After the fall, the court heard she was taken by ambulance to Beaumont Hospital and treated for a wound to her head and other minor lacerations.

She was later referred to an orthopaedic surgeon because it is claimed she had pain in her head, arm, hip and knee.

The judge put a stay on the €40,000 award in the event of an appeal on the basis that €25,000 be paid out immediately to Mrs Lavin.

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