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Sunday 26 January 2020

Tourist sues hop-on, hop-off city bus firm after fall down stairs

Susan Riches was sightseeing. Photo: Collins Photo Agency
Susan Riches was sightseeing. Photo: Collins Photo Agency

A Canadian tourist who fell down the stairs of a double decker tourist bus in Dublin has sued in the High Court.

Susan Riches (63) claims the accident happened when the bus jerked after pulling in for St Patrick's Cathedral.

She claims she suffers post concussion syndrome and has migraines after she was propelled down the stairs, hitting her head, suffering lacerations and breaking a finger.

The court was told it was her case she was thrown headlong down the stairs.

Nightmares

Ms Riches was later diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and suffered nightmares and flashbacks and says she now has a significant fear of stairs and escalators.

The bus operators and owners have claimed the bus had not stopped at the cathedral but was stopped in traffic and had not reached the tour stop.

They say it was an unfortunate accident, but claim it was the tourist's fault.

Ms Riches and her husband Patrick were in Dublin for the first time on the last leg of a transatlantic cruise.

She said they docked in Dublin and got a hop-on, hop-off tourist bus on April 30, 2018.

"At St Patrick's I headed for the stairs. I took a step and the bus turned and jerked and I flew through the air," she said.

"I hit my face. I ended up on the floor. I felt in shock and I was bleeding."

Ms Riches has sued Last Bus Ltd and Citi Bus Ltd, both with offices at Moorhill House, Brannockstown, Co Kildare, and Park Fly Ltd and Dockstop Ltd, both with offices at South Bank House, Barrow Street, Dublin.

She claimed there was a failure to have regard for the safety of passengers they ought to have known were disembarking.

There was also an alleged failure to warn the passengers the bus was going to be further moved as they disembarked.

The claims are denied.

It is contended there was contributory negligence by Ms Riches and she should have had regard for her own safety.

Finbarr Fox, for the defendants, put it to Ms Riches in cross examination that the driver communicated to passengers to remain in their seats until the bus stops.

Ms Riches replied: "I don't remember that. I was really taken with Dublin and the sights."

The case before Mr Justice Bernard Barton continues.

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