Posted: May 1st, 2015
A pensioner has been awarded €40,000 compensation for an escalator accident at Dublin Airport after the judge hearing the case said that she should take one-third responsibility for her injuries.
Elizabeth Lavin from Kilcullen in County Kildare was taking the escalator to the upper level of Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport on November 2nd 2011 when the escalator suddenly juddered. Sixty-nine year old Elizabeth lost her balance and fell forward over her hand luggage – landing on her face on the metal stairs of the escalator.
Instead of taking a flight to Manchester as Elizabeth had intended, she was rushed to the Beaumont Hospital in Dublin by ambulance. At the hospital Elizabeth received medical treatment for a blunt force head injury and for a series of minor lacerations across her face.
Elizabeth attempted to manage the pain from her injuries with painkillers, but was still unable to perform everyday household tasks. She was subsequently referred to an orthopaedic surgeon because of ongoing pains in her head, arm, hip and knee. Elizabeth still has visible scars from her accident, including one on her bottom lip.
A claim for compensation for an escalator accident at Dublin Airport was made to the Injuries Board, but Dublin Airport Authority PLC denied that it was responsible for Elizabeth´s injuries. Consequently, the Injuries Board issued Elizabeth with an authorisation to pursue her claim in court, and the case was heard this past week by Mr Justice Michael Hanna.
At the hearing, it was claimed that Dublin Airport had failed in its duty of care to take reasonable precautions against the risk of passenger injuries. Elizabeth´s legal representatives argued that the airport authority had been negligent when designing the airport, so that the escalator was the only apparent route for passengers with luggage to access the upper level of Terminal 2.
Dublin Airport contested the claim for compensation for an escalator accident at Dublin Airport by claiming that Elizabeth was the architect of her own misfortune. The airport authority produced CCTV footage which showed Elizabeth failing to use the handrail of the escalator and placing her hand luggage in front of her, instead of behind her.
The judge was also told that the option of a lift was available to passengers with luggage, but that signs directing passengers to the lift were not erected until two years after Elizabeth´s accident.
Judge Hanna found in Elizabeth´s favour – saying that she could not be blamed for the accident because she had failed to use the handrail or placed her hand luggage in front of her. However, the judge said that if Elizabeth was apprehensive about using the escalator, she could have asked an airport assistant if a lift was available and received directions.
Judge Hanna said that Elizabeth should take one-third responsibility for her injuries and reduced her settlement of compensation for an escalator accident at Dublin Airport from €60,000 to €40,000.
Categories: Product Liability Accident Compensation