Woman gets €29,000 for slipping at racecourse


A court has awarded damages to a 60-year-old woman who was injured three years ago during an impromptu dance in a bar at Leopardstown Racecourse.

The management opposed the action and claimed she was being “thrown around the floor” by a man but she claimed she slipped on a wet floor.

Judge Matthew Deery awarded Pauline McNamara, of Green Lawns, Skerries, Co Dublin, more than €28,000 damages against Leopardstown Entertainment Centre Ltd, Leopardstown Racecourse, Co Dublin.

Barrister Karl Finnegan told the Circuit Civil Court that the fall occurred in The Fillies Bar at the racecourse on December 28th, 2009, after all afternoon races had been cancelled because of thick fog.

He said Ms McNamara, with friends Angela O’Doherty, Margaret Sheridan and Claire Gorman, had retired to the bar after all hopes of racing resuming had been abandoned.

There was a disc jockey operating and dancing had been taking place in a 200sq ft tiled alcove. Ms McNamara claimed to have slipped on a wet patch on the floor, as a result of which she injured her head and broke her left wrist.

Ms McNamara and her friends told the court the floor was wet in places. She had been dancing with a man from Armagh, whom she had never met before or since, and when her feet went from under her he fell on top of her.

Denial of ‘rough’ dancing

She denied having told club director and manager Richard Smyth that the man from Armagh had been “very rough” and had been throwing her around the floor when they both fell. She said they had been dancing normally and suddenly her feet had gone “up in the air” on a wet patch.

Judge Deery said he did not accept that Ms McNamara had blamed the man from Armagh for having roughly thrown her around the dance floor or that she had been dancing over-vigorously.

He said impromptu dancing was permitted on the premises and he was satisfied the club did not have a proper cleaning system in place. The bar and dancing area had been packed to capacity after racing had been cancelled.

Awarding her €28,802 damages against the entertainment club, he said the manner in which she had fallen was consistent with the floor having been wet.