Pub to pay brain injured man €3,500 after asking him to leave for being ‘drunk’

Staff thought customer, who has a limp due to his condition, was inebriated

A licensed premises has agreed to pay €3,500 in compensation to a customer with a brain tumour after he was mistaken for a drunk when asked to leave the premises.

A licensed premises has agreed to pay €3,500 in compensation to a customer with a brain tumour after he was mistaken for a drunk when asked to leave the premises.

 

A licensed premises has agreed to pay €3,500 in compensation to a customer with a brain tumour after he was mistaken for a drunk when asked to leave the premises.

The man, who was in the pub celebrating the end of rehabilitative treatment for his brain injury, has a limp due to his condition and this was interpreted by staff as a sign of being drunk.

Despite explaining his disability directly to staff, the man was asked to leave the premises, which he said “caused him significant distress and embarrassment”.

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) provided legal representation to the man in his application to the District Court for redress under the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2003.

The matter was settled without court hearing after the licensed premises agreed to issue a meaningful apology to the man alongside compensation of €3,500.

Furthermore, the management of the premises agreed to attend an annual equality training course, and to report back to the IHREC under the agreed settlement, which saw no admission of liability.

‘Obligations’

“In addition, the licensed premises also agreed to provide a policy on treating all customers equally and making reasonable accommodation for customers with disabilities in line with obligations under the Equal Status Acts 2000-2018 and Intoxicating Liquor Act 2003,” a IHREC spokesman said.

Under its legal functions, the commission can, in certain circumstances, provide legal assistance to a person who wishes to bring a matter of human rights or equality of treatment before the courts.

IHREC chief commissioner Emily Logan said the settlement sends a clear message that discrimination in private services, including licensed premises, is not acceptable and can be challenged.

“As this case demonstrates, issues arising from brain injury should not mean you risk discrimination when out socialising. It is important that people providing services are trained and supported by employers in understanding the varied needs of their customers,” she said.

Ms Logan argued that “the Intoxicating Liquor Act is acting as barrier for people in accessing justice when they face discrimination” because it says that they must take their case to the District Court, often requiring legal advice and resources.

She said people who encounter discrimination should be able to have those cases heard in the non-court setting of the Workplace Relations Commission.