Woman awarded €260,000 damages over fall on footpath
A seamstress has been awarded €260,000 damages at the High Court over wrist injuries suffered when she tripped on an uneven footpath in Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin.
Olive Loughrey (62), Station Road, Shankill, Dublin, sued Dún Laoghaire County Council over the fall outside the town hall on July 9th, 2002.
Ms Loughrey, described by Mr Justice Kevin Cross as honest and decent, was awarded €125,000 general damages and €135,000 for past and future loss of earnings after the court heard she had been unable to return to work since the accident.
Mr Justice Kevin Cross adjourned an application for a stay on the award pending an appeal. He did so to allow the council’s lawyers take instructions concerning the judge’s view that some money should be paid immediately to Ms Loughrey as it could take up to four years for the appeal to be heard by the Supreme Court.
The judge said he accepted the council had fought the case as a matter of principle. Ms Loughrey claimed she fell because of a defectively laid pavement slab.
Following the fall, and subsequent medical treatment, she developed symptoms that have left her with stiffness of her hand and wrist and she remains “considerably disabled” due to poor hand function and limitations to her shoulder movement, the judge said.
The judge found, as a matter of probability, the cause of the deterioration of the footpath slab was either poor design or faulty construction. Ms Loughrey was in no way to blame for the accident, he said.