Man died after being knocked down stairs by dog, inquest hears

Ignatius Fox was left paralysed after adoring pet bounded out to meet him, Coroner’s Court told

A 71-year-old man knocked down the stairs by his pet dog was left paralysed and later died, an inquest heard. Ignatius Fox from New Street, Carrick-On-Suir, Co Tipperary fell backwards down the stairs and landed on a concrete hallway on October 14th 2012, Dublin Coroner's Court heard.

Mr Fox had a pet dog who adored him, his wife Mary Fox said.

“I knew the dog was upstairs and when she saw him coming up she went bounding out to meet him. She just adored him,” Mrs Fox said.

Her husband suffered a serious neck injury that damaged his spinal cord and left him paralysed from the neck down.


The court heard he was lavished with love and support from his wife and close relatives, but around Easter 2014 he developed a respiratory tract infection and his health began to deteriorate. He had problems aspirating and developed muscle spasms, the court heard.

"All of this flowed from the neck injury sustained as a result of the fall down the stairs," Coroner Dr Brian Farrell said.

After the first respiratory infection, Mr Fox developed a pattern of recurring infections, according to medical reports. He had great grace and dignity throughout his ill health and never complained, the court heard. He died on September 30th 2014 at Cherry Orchard Hospital.

The cause of death was pneumonia complicated by a fall down stairs at his home, Dr Farrell said.

Mrs Fox said her husband never told her it was the dog that caused him to fall down the stairs.

“He told his sister, he was afraid I would punish the dog,” she said.

The coroner returned a verdict of accidental death.