Loose clothes a factor in man’s fatal stairs fall, inquest hears

Arthur Malone of Dodsboro Cottages in Lucan, Co Dublin died in hospital

Arthur Malone sustained a skull fracture with bruising to the brain.

Arthur Malone sustained a skull fracture with bruising to the brain.

 

Loose clothing may have been a factor in the death of a pensioner who died after falling down stairs, an inquest has heard.

The man’s brother, who lived with him, said he was wearing “clothes that were too big for him”.

Arthur Malone (73) of Dodsboro Cottages in Lucan, Co Dublin died at Beaumont Hospital on February 19th, 2016. He had fallen down stairs at the home he shared with his brother Joe Malone on January 8th, 2016.

Mr Malone suffered a skull fracture, a broken collarbone and broken ribs in the fall.

“I was in bed when I heard a bang. I got up and saw Arthur at the bottom of the stairs,” Joe Malone said. His brother was breathing but not responsive in any other way, Mr Malone said.

He was taken to Connolly Hospital where doctors conducted scans and found he had sustained a right sided skull fracture with bruising to the brain underneath.

Mr Malone’s condition deteriorated and he was transferred to Beaumont Hospital on January 12th.

Further tests showed that he had developed bleeding inside and over the brain due to the severity of the blow he sustained in the fall.

Steep stairs

Garda James O’Donnell described the stairs as steep and said the man had fallen onto a concrete surface in the hallway. Apart from a hip complaint, he was in good health prior to the fall, Dublin Coroner’s Court heard.

“The moment he fell, he sustained injuries such that he would never be the same again if he survived,” Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane told family members.

The cause of death was severe cerebral trauma following a fall down stairs at the home address, according to a post-mortem.

“Unfortunately it happens, we see it frequently in this court. You can cause significant injury to yourself even without a fall down steps, by just simply losing your balance,” the coroner said, returning a verdict of accidental death.