Tourist sues National Museum of Ireland over slip on stairs
Museum claims Australian Warren Baldwin (70) the only of 470,000 visitors to fall on marble steps
Warren Baldwin, from New South Wales in Australia, is pictured leaving the Four Courts after the opening day of his High Court action. Photograph: Collins Courts.
A tourist who injured his leg after slipping on a marble staircase at the National Museum of Ireland has sued for damages in the High Court.
Warren Baldwin (70) was in Dublin as part of a trip to Europe from Australia with his wife Tanya when the accident happened.
His counsel Aidan Walsh SC, instructed by solicitor Liam Moloney, said their case was that the polished marble steps of the staircase dating back to 1890 were “quite slippery”.
Mr Baldwin was moving from the main balcony area down the steps when his leg slipped on the second or third last step and he fell onto his side and “rolled” down the remaining steps to the floor.
He was transferred to hospital where he stayed overnight on a trolley before being examined. It was found he had partially torn a tendon which runs from the knee to the hip and was given a brace and crutches to help him when he flew home a few days later.
Mr Baldwin, who lives in Revesby, just outside Sydney, New South Wales, has sued the National Museum of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin as a result of the fall on June 5th, 2016.
He has alleged failure to provide adequate lighting, signage and adequate supervision of the main balcony stairway. He has further claimed failure to provide adequate hand railing and that the steps had allegedly been permitted to become unsafe, were polished smooth from wear and did not have adequate anti-slip nosing.
The claims are denied and the museum contends the stairs are free from defect and there was one handrail. It also pleads contributory negligence on the part of Mr Baldwin who, it claims, was rushing to descend and was not paying attention. It says more than 470,000 people visited the premises in 2016 and Mr Baldwin was the only person who fell on the marble stairs.
In evidence, Mr Baldwin said he and his wife had spent 1½ hours walking around the museum and were leaving when the accident happened.
“I put my foot on the edge of the stairs. My foot slipped, I went to my side, I hit the step and I rolled down.I heard a loud crack, I thought I had broken a bone.”
He said there was no rush as the couple went down the stairs. When he got back to Australia, he said he had to have a surgical procedure carried out on his leg and 10 weeks of physiotherapy.
The case continues before Ms Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon.