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Woman Awarded Compensation for a Slip on a Wet Manhole Cover

A woman who injured her ankle in an accident at Dublin Zoo has been awarded €105,000 compensation for a slip on a wet manhole cover by the High Court.

Gwen Kane (43) from Firhouse in Dublin was visiting Dublin Zoo with her family on 12th June 2011 as a treat to celebrate her son´s first birthday. As Gwen passing the sea lion enclosure, she slipped on a wet manhole cover and fell – injuring her right ankle.

Gwen was taken to hospital, where she was diagnosed as having dislocated the ankle. The ankle was put into a plaster cast for seven weeks and Gwen had to use crutches for a further nine weeks to help support her injured ankle.

Despite regaining her mobility, Gwen continued to experience pain from her accident. She sought legal advice and claimed compensation for a slip on a wet manhole cover – alleging that the Zoological Society of Ireland had been negligent by failing to clear rainwater away from walkways and viewing areas in order to provide a safe environment for the zoo´s visitors.

The Zoological Society of Ireland admitted liability for Gwen´s injury, but rejected the Injuries Board assessment of her claim. Gwen was subsequently issued with an authorisation to pursue her case in court, and a hearing for the assessment of damages recently took place at the High Court.

At the hearing, Mr Justice Anthony Barr was told the circumstances of Gwen´s accident and the consequences to her quality of life. He heard that, as a consequence of her accident, Gwen had to give up her hobbies of Breton folk dancing, cycling and long-distance walking – activities that she participated in for charity.

Judge Barr said he was satisfied Gwen had given a fair and accurate account of the consequences of the accident, and awarded her €105,000 compensation for a slip on a wet manhole cover in respect of her pain and suffering, with a further award of €9,988 special damages to account for the financial cost of her injury.