A holiday sun lounger injury claim, made by a man who booked his Italian vacation through a Dublin travel agent, has been resolved for €40,796 at the High Court.
Vincent Reid and his wife were on the fourth day of a week-long vacation at the Hotel Savoy Palace in Lake Garda, Italy, when on 29 August 2012, seventy-two year old Vincent from Lisburn in County Antrim sat on a sun lounger by the hotel pool to read his newspaper.
Vincent – a retired construction manager – started to recline on the sun lounger, but as he did so, the arm mechanism of the sun lounger caught the middle finger of his right hand and sliced off the top of the finger. Vincent was taken to a local hospital in Lake Garda to receive treatment, but had to protect the injury with a splint for twelve weeks after his return to Northern Ireland.
As the Italian vacation had been booked through a travel agent in Dublin – Topflight Ltd – Vincent made a holiday sun lounger injury claim through the Injuries Board Ireland. Topflight denied that it was responsible for Vincent´s accident and, unable to assess the holiday sun lounger injury claim, the Injuries Board issued Vincent with an authorisation to pursue compensation through the courts.
Last week the case was heard by Mr Justice Michael Hanna at the High Court in Dublin. Judge Hanna was told by representatives of Topflight Ltd that the arm mechanism on the poolside sun lounger should have been locked into place before Vincent leaned back on it and that Vincent´s accident could not have been foreseen.
However, the judge also heard that a similar sun lounger accident had happened just a few days before – also to an Irish guest staying at the hotel. This prompted the judge to dismiss the travel agent´s defence, saying that somebody at the hotel must have been aware that the sun lounger would collapse if the arm mechanism was not fully engaged.
Judge Hanna ruled that Topflight Ltd – as organisers of the vacation package – was in breach of the Package Holidays and Travel Trade Act of 1995. After being told that Vincent still experienced pain from his accident and limited movement in the middle finger of his right hand that prevented him from pursuing his hobbies of gardening and DIY, the judge awarded Vincent €40,796 compensation in settlement of his holiday sun lounger injury claim.