Airport worker sues after tripping over passenger’s bag

Bridget Davis (56) said injuries limited her ability to engage in golf and other activities

Bridget Davis (56), of Garlow Cross, Navan, Co Meath, said she fell when a passenger pushed a bag into her path.  File image: Cyril Byrne

Bridget Davis (56), of Garlow Cross, Navan, Co Meath, said she fell when a passenger pushed a bag into her path. File image: Cyril Byrne

 

A customer services team member in Dublin Airport who fell over a passenger’s bag has told the High Court her pastime as a keen golfer has been affected by a knee injury sustained in the accident.

Bridget Davis (56), of Garlow Cross, Navan, Co Meath, is suing her employer ASC Airport Services Consolidated; the operators of the terminal, Dublin Airport Authority; and ground handling service provider, Swissport Ireland.

The defendants deny her claims of breach of duty by, among other things, failing to provide a safe place of work, allowing passengers waiting to board to randomly queue in areas adjoining departure gates and failing to properly monitor and supervise waiting passengers. They also deny ignoring a danger from passengers and baggage in an ad hoc queue on a walkway not provided with a “tensa” or other corralling system.

On Wednesday, Ms Davis told the court she was carrying out “bussing operations” — bringing passengers to and from aircraft — in Terminal Two on July 7th 2015 and was at one gate when she was asked to go to another gate. She was making her way through a narrow corridor of passengers when, in an area to her right, the queue started to move.

She said, suddenly and without warning, one of the passengers kicked a bag in her path causing her to trip and fall heavily onto her knees and chest. She was assisted from the scene by colleagues to the operations centre and was later able to drive home.

She spent two days in bed before attending her GP who noted she had significant pain in her chest and knees. She had pain for up to ten weeks afterwards and was out of work for three months.

Her GP later said she had a moderate degree of interference with her ability to stand, walk and climb stairs and a mild degree of disability in kneeling, bending and squatting.

Ms Davis said she was a keen golfer but was unable to play for the remainder of 2015 and only returned playing on a few occasion in 2016 and to date because of pain in her knee. She was able to do so when she received injections for the pain.

Under cross examination by Gerry Danaher SC, with Shane English BL, Ms Davis agreed she had competed in two golf competitions including one in which she came second with the Royal Tara in Co Meath last July. She had also competed in a team competition as recently as three weeks ago.

Mr Justice Michael Hanna, who is hearing the case, said he wished to declare he was a member of Royal Tara “years ago when I was insane enough to play golf”.

In his continuing cross examination, Mr Danaher put to Ms Davis she had changed her original statement about the accident to say the bag had been “pushed out” in front of her to saying it had been kicked out. She said the bag “shot into my path, whether it was kicked or not I don’t know”.

Ms Davis was also asked about CCTV footage of the incident which she said she had seen for the first first time on Wednesday.

The judge adjourned the case to Thursday to allow her to look at it overnight.