Judge to rule next week in wet dancefloor case against Copper Face Jacks

 

A High Court judge will rule next week on an action for damages by a woman who suffered arm injuries after a fall at the well-known Dublin nightclub Copper Face Jacks, Harcourt Street, as she danced with a work colleague.

Ciara O’Connell (33), Glenview Park, Tallaght, a sales representative, was dancing backwards to a Shakira song with a male colleague, Noel Humphries, when the incident happened, on August 4th 2006.

Mr Humphries told Mr Justice Seán Ryan that he was not familiar with the phrase “dirty dancing”, a phrase used by defence lawyers for the night club who claimed the woman was engaged in dangerous dancing.

In evidence, Mr Humphries said he was dancing with Ms O’Connell when he felt one of his feet going from under him as if he was slipping and he fell on Ms O’Connell.

He said he did not particularly notice the condition of the floor but when he got up his hand was wet.

Cross-examined by Colm Condon SC, Mr Humphries, who had been on a night out with Ms O’Connell and a number of work colleagues, said he accepted they were dancing close together as, when they fell, he landed on top of her.

He would not have thought he was leaning back into Ms O’Connell, he said. At the time of the fall, he felt an unusual sensation under his feet as if he had slipped. He had not made any complaint to the nightclub about what happened and his concern after the fall was about Ms O’Connell, he said.

Nobody had come to him to say he had been dancing recklessly, he added.

Nightclub manager Aiden McCormack said the club did not generally allow drinking on the dancefloor and did not encourage people to walk through the dancefloor with drink.

He agreed, having been shown a CCTV recording, there was nothing about the dancing which gave him cause for concern.

Ms O’Connell had two operations following the incident. She fractured her arm and was out of work for three months and showed the scarring on her arm to the judge yesterday.

In her action against Breanagh Catering Ltd, trading as Copper Face Jacks, she claimed Mr Humphries slipped on the floor, which she claimed was wet, and fell on to her causing her to fall.

The defendant denied liability and pleaded the floor was dry. It was also pleaded Ms O’Connell was engaged in dangerous and reckless dancing with Mr Humphries.

The case concluded yesterday and Mr Justice Ryan will give judgment next Friday.