A woman´s claim for an injury in a nightclub accident has been resolved after a hearing at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.
Rita Walsh (64) from Tallaght in Dublin made her claim for an injury in a nightclub accident after tripping over a step as she made her way to the toilets as the Level 4 Nightclub at the Abberley Court Hotel in Tallaght was closing at 2:00am on the morning of 4th April 2010.
Rita claimed in her action against White Bay Limited – which trades as the Abberley Court Hotel – that as soon as the DJ stopped playing music, all the lights had gone out and she could not see a dimly illuminated step. Rita tripped over the step and fell heavily – badly injuring her shoulder.
White Bay Limited denied their liability for Rita´s shoulder injury, and said that the club was adequately lit; however, a forensic engineer gave evidence at the court hearing that the overall lighting was inadequate to clearly identify the step in question, and that recessed lighting in the step only made it visible from the opposite direction in which Rita was walking.
Judge Alan Mahon accepted the forensic engineer´s evidence of the lighting as accurate, and although not agreeing with Rita´s allegations that the nightclub was “pitch black”, he said it was more likely that the management of the Abberley Court Hotel had only illuminated the nightclub after her accident and not while patrons were leaving as had previously been claimed.
The judge also said that Rita must take some of the responsibility for her accident, as she had been drinking alcohol with her daughters at the nightclub and previously at a local Chinese restaurant. He assigned Rita 20% contributory negligence and reduced the settlement of her claim for an injury in a nightclub accident from €22,000 to €17,600.