THE joint head of a college fashion department lost her cherished career after she tripped on a broken concrete surface injuring her elbow, the High Courth heard.
Patricia Keilthy, joint head at Limerick School of Art and Design's fashion department, is suing over injuries sustained in the fall in June 2009. She is credited with putting the school on the map but has not worked since, the court heard.
Mr Justice Michael White has been asked to assess the damages for Ms Keilthy who tripped and fell on her outstretched left hand after she entered the school campus via the back gate near Clare Street, Limerick.
The 58-year old from Meadowbrook, Castleconnell, Co Limerick, has sued her employer, Limerick Institute of Technology, over injuries from the fall as well as St John's Hospital, Limerick, over the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of her injury.
The judge was told liability has been conceded.
Dr John O'Mahony SC, for Ms Keilthy, said she tripped and fell on a "dangerous and defective" broken concrete surface.
She suffered a serious injury to her left arm and attended the emergency department of St John's Hospital.
A soft tissue injury was diagnosed but she had a very nasty fracture of the elbow, counsel said.
She was not told to follow through on the injury and as a result she thought everything was ok.
However, counsel said, she suffered a lot of pain and went to her GP. At at the end of July, an MRI scan identified a particularly bad fracture of the elbow, involving her elbow joint.
Severe chronic regional pain syndrome was later diagnosed.
Counsel said Ms Keilthy has not worked since. Her elbow, he said, is hypersensitive to touch and she had difficulty doing up buttons, washing her hair and lifting heavy items.
The prognosis for the is difficult and gloomy for Ms Keilthy, he said.
"She was highly regarded and respected in fashion design. Her work was her life . Fashion was at the centre of her life," he said,
Ms Keilthy has lodged a substantial claim including loss of earnings to date of over €230,000, counsel said.
The case continues.