Woman injured after hotel lift plummeted to ground settles High Court action

Woman, her husband and three family members in lift when it fell three floors

The woman settled her case. File photograph: Chris Maddaloni/Collins

The woman settled her case. File photograph: Chris Maddaloni/Collins

 

A woman who sued after a lift in a hotel plummeted three floors to the ground has settled her High Court action.

Jennie Wong was with her husband and three members of their extended family in the Killarney Plaza Hotel lift when it suddenly dropped to the concrete underground basement car park on July 9th, 2011.

Earlier this week, her husband Kevin Meehan, of Celbridge, Co Kildare, who suffered multiple injuries in the accident, was awarded some €508,000 damages.

Ms Wong’s brother-in-law Andrew Meehan, and his wife Patricia O’Leary, from Co Meath, previously settled their actions, on confidential terms, as a result of the lift accident.

When Ms Wong’s case came before the court on Thursday, her counsel Barney Quirke SC said it had been settled.

Mr Justice Michael Hanna congratulated the sides on the settlement and said he will hear the last remaining case, that of Paul Meehan, next week.

Ms Wong from Celbridge, Co Kildare had sued the hotel owners, Shawcove Ltd, with registered offices at Castleisland, Co Kerry; four companies involved in installing and maintaining lifts Ellickson Engineering Ltd, in receivership of Kilmurry, Waterford; Kilell Ltd, of the same address; Otis Ltd, and Otis Elevator Ireland Ltd, both of Naas Road Business Park, Dublin; and a lift components manufacturer, Daldoss Elevetronic Spa of Valsugana, Italy.

It was claimed there was failure to ensure the intended pathway from the car park was safe and free from hazard and failure to install a proper functioning lift from the car park to the hotel.

The court previously heard liability was conceded in the case in 2019.

In 2017, Ellickson Engineering Ltd, now in receivership, was fined €750,000 after it was found guilty at Tralee Circuit Criminal Court of a single breach of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act over the installation of the hotel lift in and around April 2004.

The court was previously told by Kevin Meehan that, in the seconds before it went into free fall, crashing into the underground basement car park, the lift swayed and it felt like it was hanging on a thread.

“There was an extremely loud bang and the lift dropped a foot. It swayed from side to side and it felt like it was hanging on a thread. There was another huge loud bang and it started to freefall. I saw the horror in my wife’s face . The next moment we were thrown to the ground with huge force. There was dust, smoke and glass everywhere. It was like a bomb going off.”