A High Court judge has approved a settlement of compensation for an injury in a pub accident which left an eighty-year-old man brain damaged and needing permanent care.
In April 2011, Frank McHugh from Rathgar in Dublin had been celebrating Easter with his family at the Stags Head pub in Dublin when he left the group to visit the toilets shortly after the dinner had finished.
As Frank started to descend the stairs that led from the pub area to the toilets, he tumbled and fell – sustaining a brain damage which left him in a coma and several fractures of the skull. Due to his head injuries, Frank has no recollection of the fall and will need permanent care for the remainder of his life.
Frank claimed compensation for an injury in a pub accident through his son against Shelbourne O´Brien Ltd – the licensees of the Stags Head – claiming that there was a failure in the duty of care to provide a safe means of access to the toilets and that no warning signs were present advising patrons of the dangers of using the stairs.
Shelbourne O´Brien Ltd contested the claim for pub accident injury compensation – saying that Frank had descended the stairs in an unsafe manner and that he had fallen as a result of his own negligence. The company presented CCTV footage in its defence which showed Frank taking the first step of the stairs and then falling down them.
Despite Shelbourne O´Brien Ltd denying their liability for Frank´s injuries, at the High Court in Dublin Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told that the company had made an offer of compensation for an injury in a pub accident amounting to €250,000. The judge heard that the value of the settlement was a fraction of what a full compensation settlement amount to, but that it had been recommended by Frank´s solicitors that the family accept it.
After hearing the circumstances of Frank´s injuries, and of the care that had been provided for him subsequently by his family, Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the settlement – stating she agreed that €250,000 would not go far in covering the costs of Frank´s care, but Frank´s injury claim for compensation for an injury in a pub accident was lacking in evidence and would likely be unsuccessful if it went to a full trial.