Posted: December 20th, 2016
A claim for slipping on a wet hotel floor has been resolved at the Circuit Civil Court after the plaintiff was attributed 25% contributory negligence.
The claim for slipping on a wet hotel floor was made by a female guest of the Herbert Park Hotel in Ballsbridge, who had been staying at the hotel in August 2014 in order to attend the Dublin Horse Show at the RDS.
On the final afternoon of her stay, she decided to leave Dublin early for the journey back to her home in Kinsale, County Cork, as it was a wet and inclement day, but as she tried to drive her car out of the hotel car park, the barrier failed to raise.
The woman rushed back to the hotel lobby to check whether her car parking ticket had been validated. However, as she ran back into the reception area through the emergency doors, she slipped on the wet floor surface and fell – fracturing her left ankle on three places.
After receiving first aid at the hotel, she was taken by ambulance to St Vincent´s Hospital where she underwent surgery for the triple fracture. She was discharged some days later with a plaster cast protecting her injury, but she is no longer able to walk long distances and will likely suffer from arthritis in the future.
The woman made a claim for slipping on a wet hotel floor against the Herbert Park Hotel and its management company – Sheelin McSharry (Ballsbridge) Ltd. The two defendants denied that the hotel had been negligent in failing to maintain a safe environment, and their consent for the Injuries Board to conduct an assessment of her claim was denied.
The Injuries Board issued the woman with an authorization to take her claim for slipping on a wet hotel floor to court, and the case was heard earlier this week by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.
At the hearing, Judge Groarke was told that the hotel floor was usually well maintained, but became slippery when guests walked over it with wet shoes. An expert witness for the plaintiff told the judge that a mat placed by the emergency doors would have prevented the accident from happening.
The defendants argued that, had the woman used the main doors as she was supposed to, she would not have slipped on the hotel floor. They also contested that she was rushing and not paying proper attention to her environment, and that she had contributed to her accident and injury through her own lack of care.
At the end of the hearing, Judge Groarke found in the plaintiff´s favour. He said that, despite the generally well-maintained condition of the hotel floor, this was an accident waiting to happen and the plaintiff had sustained “a very nasty and extremely serious injury” as a result.
However, he also agreed that the plaintiff had contributed to the accident through her own lack of care and, after initially awarding her €75,000 compensation in settlement of her claim for slipping on a wet hotel floor, the judge reduced the award by 25% to account for the plaintiff´s contributory negligence.