Broken ankle in nightclub leads to €20,000 damages award

Circuit Court president says evidence showed club smoking area excessively crowded at time

The Wright Venue nightclub, which denied liability in a full defence to Aoife Lamb’s claim, alleged she  fell to the ground and that a second woman went to help her but fell over her as she lay on the floor. Photograph: The Wright Venue website

The Wright Venue nightclub, which denied liability in a full defence to Aoife Lamb’s claim, alleged she fell to the ground and that a second woman went to help her but fell over her as she lay on the floor. Photograph: The Wright Venue website

 

A 24-year-old telesales operative whose right ankle was broken when a woman fell over her at a Co Dublin disco has been awarded €20,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court.

Aoife Lamb claimed that in August 2011 she had had been in an overcrowded smoking area at the award-winning The Wright Venue nightclub in Airside Retail Park, Swords, Co Dublin.

Ms Lamb, of Seabury Avenue, Malahide, Co Dublin, claimed another woman slipped on a wet floor, bumping into her as she fell.

She said she had been struck on her left shoulder by the other woman, and both of them had fallen onto a concrete floor. The other woman had fallen on the top of her, breaking Ms Lamb’s right ankle.

Emergency exit

Ms Lamb told her barrister, Matthew Jolley, that she had been helped to her feet by another patron of the club who had brought her to an emergency exit staircase. A nightclub employee had given her first aid treatment.

Ms Lamb told the court she was taken by ambulance to Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, where X-rays revealed a fracture to her ankle.

She had needed to wear a cast for several weeks and had then undergone several sessions of physiotherapy. The court heard she had ongoing occasional pain to her ankle, and her social life had been disturbed.

Ms Lamb sued The Wright Bar Group Ltd, with a registered address at Dublin Road, Sutton, Co Dublin, for negligence and breach of duty.

Liability denied

The nightclub, which had denied liability in a full defence to Ms Lamb’s claim, alleged that she herself fell to the ground and that the second woman went to help her but fell over her as she lay on the floor.

The club denied the area had been overcrowded.

Circuit Court president Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, awarding Ms Lamb €20,000 damages, said in his view evidence showed the smoking area was excessively crowded.