Landlord to pay tenant €40,000 after piece of ceiling fell

Cracks were brought to houseowner’s attention before incident, judge said

The judge found she suffered an injury to her neck and the symptoms may not have been immediately apparent because they seemed to follow in the weeks following the incident.

The judge found she suffered an injury to her neck and the symptoms may not have been immediately apparent because they seemed to follow in the weeks following the incident.

 

A landlord must pay €40,615 to his tenant after a piece of the kitchen ceiling in her home fell and injured her, the High Court has ruled.

Concepta ‘Connie’ Collery (50) had sued Eamon Clohessy, owner of the dwelling at Peter’s Street, Clonmel, Co Tipperary, where a portion of plasterwork fell on her head and back of her neck on June 29th 2013.

Mr Justice Anthony Barr ruled Mr Clohessy was liable because cracks in ceiling had been brought to his attention before the incident but he did not do anything about it, as he was required to do.

Mr Clohessy accepted in evidence Ms Collery had made a complaint to him.He told her to keep an eye on the cracks and if they got any worse to let him know, the judge said.

Mr Clohessy had argued she had never come back to him about it. He had also claimed she told him after the accident that luckily she was putting her dinner in the microwave at the time the plaster fell, otherwise she could have been injured.

The judge said the essential dispute was whether she suffered any injuries.

Ms Collery had said she had made previous complaints about the ceiling, in 2011 and 2012, the judge noted.

When Mr Clohessy had called to the house immediately after the incident, Ms Collery had told the court she said to him “I hope you are proud of yourself”, the judge also noted.

It was claimed Mr Clohessy replied: “Stop wrecking my head, leave me alone, I know it is my fault.”

The judge said Ms Collery had accepted in her evidence she did not mention her head or neck injury when Mr Clohessy called after the incident.   She had some pain but thought it would resolve quickly.

She had also said she thought he would have seen her with a tea-towel on her head, with ice in it, which she had applied after she was hit.

The judge ruled what Ms Collery said to her landlord that night did not constitute a clear statement she had not been injured.

The judge found she suffered an injury to her neck and the symptoms may not have been immediately apparent because they seemed to follow in the weeks following the incident.

He awarded €30,000 for suffering to date, €10,000 for damages into the future and €615 special damages.