The High Court has awarded a 71 year old lady Sheila Colburn the sum of €60,000.00 for personal injuries sustained by her when she was walking along a footpath at Castle Street, Sligo on the 29th of June 2006 when she was caused to trip and fall.
When the Judgement delivered by Mr Justice O’Neill on the 6th of November 2009 in the High Court he held Sligo Borough Council responsible for the injuries sustained by Ms Colburn in the fall. The Judge said he was satisfied that the Plaintiff was caused to trip and fall as a result of a depression in a drainage channel in the footpath at the location in question. He held that the depression was caused by a piece of concrete which was missing from the edge of the drainage channel and this had been caused by a disturbance by a variety of excavations in the pathway beside the channel in question.
The indent or depression was not the result of normal wear or tear from the usage of the footpath and therefore the Defendants could not rely on the legal exemption provided to Local Authorities called non-feasance. The Judge held that the depression created a trip hazard.
Ms Colburn had a somewhat chequered medical history and the Defendant argued that what had occurred after her accident was merely a continuation of that which went before. The Judge did not accept that argument and found that her injuries which included an undisplaced fracture of the head of the radius at the elbow on the left hand side was caused as a result of the fall. She also suffered injuries to her neck and back. He found that the injuries caused a great disruption to her life and that she suffered considerable pain. General damages were set to €60,000.00 plus special damages of €2,190.00