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Man Settles Claim for Slip on Stairs of Council Property

A man from Cork has settled his claim for a slip on stairs of a council property one day into a hearing to determine liability at the High Court.

William Busteed (59) from Cork City was departing his council-owned apartment to catch a flight to Majorca on 9th May 2009, when he slipped on a wet step of the complex´s stairway and fell down to the bottom of the stairs – sustaining injuries to his face and left shoulder, and fracturing his left arm.

William was taken to the Cork University Hospital, where he received treatment for his injuries; and, after seeking legal advice, he made a claim for a slip on the stairs of council property against Cork City Council.

William claimed in his legal action that a smoke alarm in the six-unit complex would go off twice a week and that this caused vents above the stairwell to open and allow the rain in. The vents could only be closed by a council workman, and William claimed to have informed Cork City Council about the hazard, but nothing had been done about it.

Cork City Council contested the claim for a slip on stairs of a council property. It produced evidence that William´s complaints had been dealt with within 48 hours of them being made, and claimed that the reason he fell in the stairwell was because he was intoxicated and in a hurry to get to the airport. The council also produced William´s medical report from when he attended Cork University Hospital which, the council claimed, showed a high level of alcohol in his blood.

William denied that he had been drinking excessively, and told Mr Justice Daniel Herbert at the High Court that on the day of the accident he had drunk no more than two small bottles of beer. He explained to the judge that he was aware airlines would not allow passengers to fly in an intoxicated condition and would not put himself into that position.

William´s claim for a slip on the stairs of a council property was adjourned until the following day but, before the hearing could restart, Judge Herbert was informed that a negotiated settlement of William´s claim had been agreed and that the case could be struck out.