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Sunday 11 December 2016

Woman who smashed teeth diving into pool is awarded €35,000

Timea Babos
Timea Babos

A 30-year-old hotel supervisor who broke her two front teeth when she dived into a shallow swimming pool and hit her face against the bottom has been awarded €35,000 in damages against a Dublin fitness club.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane said the depth of the pool at West Wood Club, Clontarf, and the fact that it was unsuitable for diving had not been adequately marked.

She said if a lifeguard had been present at the time, as it was claimed by the club, he would have warned Timea Bab-os that diving was not allowed.

The judge said she accepted Ms Babos' evidence that, when she came out of the pool in severe pain and bleeding, she had not seen any staff member.

There was inadequate supervision, and Ms Babos had not seen any sign banning diving.

Barrister Gavin Mooney, for Ms Babos, told the Circuit Civil Court she had dived into the pool on November 13, 2011 after using the club's sauna and Jacuzzi.

He said she had once previously visited the club on a free pass to play tennis, but on the second occasion, again on a guest pass, had used the pool which, she claimed, had no markings indicating the depth or that diving was not allowed.

Ms Babos, from Romania, said she had been living in Ireland for a number of years and worked as an accommodation supervisor in the Shelbourne Hotel.

She told Mr Mooney that after using the steam room she had gone to the poolside and dived in. She intended swimming a few lengths and had not seen any signs about the depth.

"I hit the bottom with my face and when I came up I was bleeding and had broken my two front teeth," she said. "I filled an accident report form before leaving to go to a clinic where I received treatment to stop the bleeding and was given painkillers."

Ms Babos, of South Brown Street, Dublin 8, told Kerry Jane Morgan, for the club, that she had been booked to travel to Canada for a holiday on December l, a fortnight after the accident. She had flown to Hungary on the day after the accident to have crowns fitted.

dangerous

"I could not have flown to Canada with broken teeth," she said.

Ms Babos told Ms Morgan she had learned to swim and dive while at school in Romania and denied she had chosen a dangerous method of diving into the pool at West Wood.

Barry Tennyson, a forensic engineer, said the swimming pool "unusually" did not have a deep end and measured l.35 metres throughout its length.

Judge Linnane said Ms Babos was not guilty of contributory negligence as claimed by the club, which has its registered office at Leopardstown Racecourse, Foxrock, Dublin.

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