Slip and Fall Cases*
This issue was commented on in a case of Edward Ronan and Tipperary County Council and Another 2021 IECH492. In this case Mr Justice Twomey delivering a judgement on 11 June set out that this was a claim for compensation for a slip and fall against the local authority and a house owner.
Mr Justice Twomey set out that in considering the important principles in slip and fall claims of
- the obligation of a Plaintiff to look where he is going
- the duty of a Plaintiff to take reasonable case for his own safety, and
- the application of common sense to claims for compensation personal injuries
As set down in the Court of Appeal in Power -v- Waterford City and County Council 2020 IECA196, Lavin -v- Dublin Airport Authority 2016 IECA268, Byrne -v- Ardenheath 2017 IECA293 and Cekanova -v- Dunnes Stores 2021 IECA12.
The Court set out:
“In this regard, on a superficial or prima facia level, one can always say that an accident would never have happened but for X or Y (in the case the ramp between a footpath and the road). However, as noted in the Court of Appeal in Navan -v- Dublin City Airport this does not make the ramp the “legal cause” of the accident.”
His Honour went on to state:
“Accordingly, perhaps, the first question for a lawyer advising the Plaintiff’s in trip and fall cases is whether the Plaintiff was looking where he was going and if he was, whether he should have seen the hazard in question. The straight forward questions would, in this Courts view, have led to this claim (and perhaps other similar claims, not being taken and perhaps an easing of the backlog in personal injury claims”
This is a very common-sense approach by the Court.
*Before acting or refraining from acting on anything in this guide, legal advice should be sought from a solicitor.
*In contentious cases a solicitor may not charge fees or expenses as a proportion or percentage of any award or settlement.