Butcher in disco assault case wins £22,579 in damages


A BUTCHER, who claimed his cheekbone was fractured and he was unconscious following an incident at a hotel disco, was awarded £22,579 and costs in the High Court yesterday.

Mr Edward Masterson (25) of Cornafean, Cavan, sued Mr Oliver Shiels, hotel owner, trading as Carrig Springs Hotel, Crosskeys, Co Cavan, and Mr Sean Traynor, with an address c/o the hotel, a farmer stated to be working as a bouncer at the premises.

Mr Masterson, who now lives near Hamburg, Germany, claimed he was assaulted by Mr Traynor when leaving a disco at the hotel on September 29th, 1990. He alleged he was struck in the face and knocked to the ground by Mr Traynor.

Mr Shiels denied the claim and pleaded that if Mr Masterson was assaulted by Mr Traynor he was not liable. It was also alleged that if Mr Masterson was assaulted he contributed to the incident by refusing to leave the premises and participating in a fracas. He pleaded Mr Masterson was guilty of contributory negligence.

Mr Traynor, in his defence, denied the claims and pleaded that any injuries which Mr Masterson sustained were in the course of a fracas initiated by him and his companions.

The jury, after three hours, brought in a verdict in favour of Mr Masterson. It awarded him £33,700 but apportioned blame at 33 per cent in Mr Masterson's case and 67 per cent for the defendants.

Mr Justice Kinlen reduced the award by £11,121 and awarded Mr Masterson £22,579 with costs. He ordered that £10,000 be paid to Mr Masterson immediately in the event of an appeal against the findings.