Woman awarded €18,500 after injury hurts ukulele hobby

Claimant’s ring finger was pierced by piece of metal under chair at a restaurant

Pauline Murray pictured leaving the Four Courts after judgement in her Civil Court action for damages. Photograph: Collins Courts

Pauline Murray pictured leaving the Four Courts after judgement in her Civil Court action for damages. Photograph: Collins Courts

 

A 60-year-old housewife, who claimed she has difficulties playing the ukulele since her left ring finger was pierced by a sharp piece of metal under a chair in a restaurant, has been awarded €18,500 damages in the Circuit Civil Court.

Pauline Murray told the court that on September 12th, 2015, she went to Little Caesar’s Palace restaurant on Balfe Street, Dublin, before attending a matinee performance at the Gaiety Theatre.

She told her barrister, Karen Nolan, on Friday that she was assigned a table by a waiter. When she put her hand underneath her chair to pull it in, she had felt “something like a punch” on her fingertip.

Ms Murray, formerly of Old Abbey Manor, Great Connell, Newbridge, Co Kildare, but who now lives in Germany, said her finger, which was bleeding heavily, was very painful. She had been greatly distressed and in shock.

Ms Nolan, who appeared with Moloney & Co Solicitors, said Ms Murray was attended to by a waiter who applied First Aid to her finger. A medicine student who was present in the restaurant had advised that she should be taken to hospital.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane was told that Ms Murray later attended the emergency department of St James’s Hospital where a deep laceration to her nail plate was cleaned and dressed. X-rays later revealed that she had also suffered a crush fracture to the top of her finger.

Ms Murray said she felt pain in her finger for several months after the incident. She still experiences numbness in her fingertip. She had just started taking ukulele lessons at the time and has ongoing difficulties playing the instrument.

Barrister Shane English, who appeared with Crowley Millar Solicitors for restaurant owner Little Caesar’s Palace Limited, told the court that the defendant had admitted liability and the case had now become one of assessment of damages.

Judge Linnane awarded Ms Murray €18,500 damages, along with her legal costs.