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Friday 23 February 2018

Woman sues over rock fall at Lakes over 14 years ago

Alison McCurtin
Alison McCurtin

A woman who claims she severely injured her back when she fell 15 feet on to rocks while strolling at Blessington Lakes in Wicklow has sued in the High Court.

Mother-of-three Alison McCurtin, has taken the action against the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) over the fall 14 years ago on the Lacken side of the ESB reservoir at Blessington when she claims the ground disappeared underneath her and she fell backwards.

The 38-year old woman was rescued from the rocks and taken to hospital where it was found vertebrae on her lower back were fractured, her counsel Richard McDonnell said.

Race

Mr McDonnell said Ms McCurtin had to wear a back brace for about eight months afterwards and it is her case that she will never be pain free.

Ms McCurtin, of Orwell Park Green, Templeogue, Dublin, began the action as a result of the fall on August 26, 2003.

She has claimed that owing to alleged negligence, she was caused to topple backwards to the shore below when the ground gave way from under her.

She has claimed there was an alleged failure to have any adequate warning signs that the undercut shore banks were dangerous, and a failure to warn those present that walking close to the edges of the banks should be prohibited.

She has further claimed the ESB allowed her to use the lake shore as a recreational walk when the undermined banks were a trap because they looked solid.

There was, she has further claimed, an alleged failure to monitor, inspect or examine the lake shore for such dangers, and a dangerous hazard at a well known recreational location was allegedly created by failure to ensure the area was safe for walking. The ESB has denied the claims.

It contends Ms McCurtin failed to have any adequate regard for her own safety and failed to take any adequate precautions for her own safety.

The ESB also claims Ms McCurtin failed to heed the signs it says were close to the area of the accident.

In a second case, Ms McCurtin has also sued in relation to an unrelated car accident on October 29, 2004, at Newline Road, Co Wexford.

Sued

She has sued the driver of a vehicle, Bill Stafford, of Wittyshill, Wellington Bridge, Co Wexford, which ran into the back of a car in which she was a passenger.

She has claimed that the road accident exacerbated the injuries from the Blessington accident.

The court heard liability is admitted in the car accident case which is before the court for assessment of damages only.

Opening the case, Mr McDonnell said Ms McCurtin was walking along with friends enjoying the view at Blessington when all of a sudden the ground under her allegedly collapsed.

The case resumes next Tuesday before Mr Justice Anthony Barr.

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