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Friday 9 December 2016

Woman 'heard her bone crack' after slip on manhole cover at Dublin Zoo

Gwen Leost Kane suffered fall during her son’s birthday
Gwen Leost Kane suffered fall during her son’s birthday

A woman who slipped on a manhole cover during a family day out in Dublin Zoo has launched a High Court action for damages.

Gwen Leost Kane said she and her husband had balloons and cake to celebrate their son Gabriel's first birthday, but instead she ended up in hospital after the fall.

Ms Kane fractured her ankle after slipping while pushing her child's buggy outside the sea lions' enclosure.

She was in plaster for seven weeks, had to have crutches for 16 weeks and was left with a 10cm scar on her foot, she said.

Ms Kane (43) sued the Zoologicial Society of Ireland over the fall on June 12, 2011.

She claimed there was a failure to adequately supervise the premises to ensure the sea lions' enclosure and its surrounding amenities, visitor walkways, and viewing area were safe for people expected to walk through that area even in wet weather.

She also claimed an accumulation of rainwater had been allowed on a pedestrian walkway and the metal manhole cover.

Damages

Mr Justice Anthony Barr was told liability was admitted in the case and it was before the court for assessment of damages only.

In evidence Ms Kane said she fell backwards after slipping and heard her bone crack.

"It has affected my life a lot. I used to wear a lot of high heels," she said. "There is a heavy scar and I am now confined to comfortable footwear. I suffer pain every day."

Ms Kane , from Beechdale Court, Firhouse, Dublin, said she found it difficult looking after her young son after the accident .

Mr Justice Barr reserved his decision.

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