A Dublin man, who uses crutches to walk, has lost a €60,000 personal injuries claim against the owners of Dublin’s Merrion Inn over a fall in the pub’s accessible toilet.
Michael Ryan (67), of Trimleston Park, Booterstown, told the Circuit Civil Court that “following a very good meal and two pints of Heineken” he went to the toilet while waiting for a taxi to arrive. He said his left crutch slipped on the tiled floor and he fell and was knocked unconscious.
Mr Ryan told barrister Gráinne Larkin, counsel for Cormak Limited, the owner of the inn, that he had no memory of why he fell but that “the floor under the hand dryer had to be wet”.
Judge Terence O’Sullivan heard that Mr Ryan struck his head against a wall and fractured his collar bone. His trousers were wet and paramedics had put them into a plastic bag before taking him to St Vincent’s Hospital.
Ms Larkin, who appeared with Helene Coffey of Crowley Millar Solicitors, told Mr Ryan that bar manager Paul Carroll would tell the court that he had given Mr Ryan first aid following the accident and stayed with him for 40 minutes until the ambulance arrived. He checked the area where Mr Ryan fell and found the floor to be dry.
Dismissing Mr Ryan’s case, Judge O’Sullivan said he was quite badly injured but the very straightforward evidence of Mr Carroll was that the floor was dry where Mr Ryan fell and he attended to him for 40 minutes.
On the basis of Mr Carroll’s evidence, the court could not come to a conclusion that the floor was wet and liability for whatever difficulty Mr Ryan had experienced could not be decided against the defendant. Ms Larkin said she had been instructed by the solicitors for Cormak Limited and its insurers Allianz not to seek an order for legal costs against Mr Ryan.