Woman sues over fall on allegedly ‘defective’ Dublin footpath

Anne Marie Fagan says she hurt her back after tripping in Dublin suburbs

A woman said she hurt her back and is unable to stand or walk for long periods, or put on her socks herself, after allegedly tripping on broken concrete outside shops in a Dublin suburb, the High Court has heard.

Anne Marie Fagan said her life has changed since the fall in Crumlin eight years ago.

“I can’t put on my socks, my son has to do it for me. When I go shopping, I have to bring somebody with me,” she told Mr Justice Anthony Barr. She said she also cannot take clothes from the washing machine or hoover and, while she used to walk a lot, she cannot, since the fall, stand or walk for long periods.

She also has sleeping difficulties and has not had a full night’s sleep “since all this started”, she said.


Ms Fagan (37), formerly of Kildare Park, Crumlin, Dublin, now living in Drimnagh, has sued Dublin City Council, butchers Gordon Ennis, trading as County Meats Prestige Foods, Old County Road, Crumlin, and New Ireland Assurance company as a result of the fall on July 21st, 2009.

She claims she fell on an allegedly defective and uneven section of footpath outside the butchers’ shop at Old County Road.

Broken concrete

She alleges the footpath was permitted to be, or remain, in a dangerous and hazardous condition following completion of works there.

The claims are denied and it is pleaded there was contributory negligence by Ms Fagan and she was the author of her own misfortune.

In her evidence, Ms Fagan a hospital catering assistant, said she had gone to the shops for her mother to buy a small bag of potatoes on July 21st, 2009.

She said her foot got caught on broken concrete and she fell backwards.

“My foot stopped, I twisted and came down on my bottom. I was embarrassed. It all happened in a couple of seconds,” she said. That night, she noticed bruising on her left buttock and could not get out of bed the next morning because she had aches and pains and she was late for work.

She had pain in her lower back and down her leg and and had to have a nerve-blocking surgery procedure, she said. An MRI scan showed a disc impinging on the nerve root and she had further surgery. The case continues .