Woman (61) loses damages claim over slip on ice in car park
Posted on 15th May 2019 at 22:02
A woman who fractured an ankle after slipping on a patch of ice in a Co Tipperary car park has lost her High Court action for damages.
Mr Justice Kevin Cross said he could not say on the balance of probabilities that the subsidence in the car park surface where ice had accumulated was due to negligent or bad workmanship.
The judge awarded costs of the one day hearing against Mary Burke (61) who sued Tipperary County Council over the fall, which happened at Friar Street in Thurles on February 15th, 2016.
Mr Justice Cross said he would be pleased if the council decided not to enforce the costs order against Mrs Burke, of Kylecrue, Drombane, Thurles, who he described as a most pleasant person.
The court heard Mrs Burke had gone to the pay station which was on a raised concrete plinth and slipped after stepping down having paid for her ticket. She claimed there was a failure to ensure the groundwork was properly compacted before tarmacadam was laid, that there was a failure to properly design the surface of the car park or to grit it. The claims were denied.
Mr Justice Cross said Mrs Burke had suffered a very nasty fracture of her left ankle and had to have a plate and pins inserted in her ankle.
He said he accepted that she fell on ice and that it happened as she stepped down from the pay station plinth. He noted that the car park had been there since 2003 and accepted the surface was relatively new and designed so that surface water would drain off.
The judge found as a fact that ponding had occurred and he accepted this was caused by subsidence. The water had frozen into ice which caused Mrs Burke to slip, he said.
Mrs Burke’s side had submitted the subsidence was caused by poor workmanship. The judge said he could not say one the balance of probabilities the subsidence was caused by negligent or bad workmanship.
Mr Justice Cross said there no question of contributory negligence on the part of Mrs Burke but the failure to grit the car park was not a ground for her case to succeed.
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