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Monday 10 December 2018

€87,000 for broken ankle after fall on wet Copper's floor

Colin McNamara won High Court damages after claiming that the wet floor at Copper Face Jacks nightclub was dangerous
Colin McNamara won High Court damages after claiming that the wet floor at Copper Face Jacks nightclub was dangerous

A man who claimed he slipped on a wet floor at Copper Face Jacks nightclub in Dublin and broke his ankle has been awarded more than €87,000 by the High Court.

Colin McNamara, who is a bar manager, was in the nightclub after attending an Ireland football match at the Aviva Stadium three years ago.

Mr Justice Michael Hanna said it was a serious and significant injury, particularly due to the fact that Mr McNamara "has to be fleet of foot" in his job as a bar manager.

The judge said Mr McNamara slipped on a floor that was wet, presumably from spilled drink, and was off work for five months after the accident.

It was clear that it was at least an injury of moderate severity with the risk of surgery in the future, he said.

The appropriate compensation was €80,000, plus special damages of €7,116 to cover medical and other expenses, he said.

Mr McNamara (36), of Sycamore Avenue, Rathbane, Co Limerick, had sued Breanagh Catering Limited, owners of Copper Face Jacks, in Harcourt Street, as a result of the accident on October 9, 2015.

Mr McNamara claimed the wet floor was a hazard to patrons and there was a failure to ensure it did not represent a danger.

Hobbled

The claims were denied.

However, the court was told that judgment in default of appearance was already against the defendant and the case was before the court only to assess damages.

In evidence, Mr McNamara said bouncers picked him up from the floor and took him out to a back alley where a member of staff tended to his leg and looked at the ankle and told him it was not broken.

He was told they could not ring for an ambulance and he "hobbled away" and got a taxi back to his hotel.

He was in a lot of pain and when he got back to Limerick, he went to hospital where he was told he had broken his ankle. He later needed surgery.

Mr Justice Hanna said he had a court order ruling against the defendant. Therefore, issues of liability did not arise.

It would have been open to the defendant to intervene in court to challenge the medical evidence and they had chosen not to do so, as was their right, he said.

They had chosen to opt for a legal cost accountant and the defendant, although not represented, was not inactive, he said. Attempts to resolve the issue were not successful, he added.

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