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Friday 18 August 2017

Drunken broker loses €60k claim for assault by bouncers at work do

Michael Halloran (29) leaves court after his damages hearing
Michael Halloran (29) leaves court after his damages hearing

A "drunk, aggressive, argumentative, angry and belligerent" insurance broker, who claimed bouncers assaulted him at a Dublin nightclub, has lost a €60,000 damages case.

Michael Halloran (29) had made his claim against the Russell Court Hotel and now faces a hefty legal costs bill.

Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, said Halloran, of Braemor Drive, Churchtown, Dublin, had attempted to headbutt one of two bouncers who were attempting to eject him from the club.

Hitting

Halloran said he was a broker with Aon Insurance and on January 26, 2012, was attending a works party with colleagues at the hotel's Dicey's Garden, in Harcourt Street, Dublin.

He told the court he had been dancing and when a colleague was ejected he had tried to have him allowed back in but had been pushed and grabbed by the neck and arms by security staff. He had fallen, hitting and injuring his head.

Halloran said an ambulance had been called but he declined to go to hospital as he did not have the money with him to pay for emergency treatment.

Desmond Dockery, for the hotel, said Mr Halloran had been performing back and front flips on the dance floor and security staff had no option but to approach him.

"All bets were off when you headbutted a member of security during an attempt to eject you," Mr Dockery said.

Judge Groarke, dismissing Halloran's case and awarding costs against him, said he had probably erred on the side of caution when saying he had drunk eight pints on the night and the security staff were entitled to expel him.

The judge said he had viewed CCTV coverage of the incident and it seemed Halloran had tried to headbutt a bouncer.

"He was drunk, aggressive, argumentative, demanding, upset, angry and belligerent. He did sustain an injury to his head but it was not as a result of an assault or negligence on the part of staff," he said.

Injury

The actions of the bouncers and the degree of force used were all reasonable, he added. Halloran had told staff he worked in insurance and that his injury was "a €100,000 case".

"I find there was no assault and no negligence on the part of staff and I dismiss the claim with costs," Judge Groarke said.

Halloran had sued P&B Security Services Limited, said to be in liquidation, and Triglen Holdings, trading as the Russell Court Hotel.

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