A 61-year-old Cork man, who fell while getting out of the bath in Scott’s Hotel, Killarney, Co Kerry, more than five years ago, has lost a personal injuries damages claim for €60,000 against the hotel owners.
Judge Colin Daly told Tralee Circuit Civil Court he had to dismiss the claim of Aidan Feehan, Valebrook, Ballyvolane, Co Cork, because of a number of different accounts he had given as to how the accident had happened.
The judge accepted that Mr Feehan had indeed slipped while in the hotel bathroom but in addition to the differing accounts of what had happened a forensic engineer had told the court the tiles, bath and shower were fit for purpose.
Feehan said he had booked a room in the hotel and on February 5, 2016, after having had a shower he had slipped on wet tiles and had fallen back into the bath, injuring his left hip.
He said the injury had caused him pain and suffering for over two years and had greatly impacted on his day-to-day life Barrister Hugh O’Flaherty, who appeared with Mary Byrne of OBL Solicitors for the hotel owners, in cross-examination put it to Mr Feehan that he had given different accounts of how the accident occurred to his solicitor, his doctor and the forensic engineer who examined the bath and shower.
Mr O’Flaherty told him the evidence he had given to the court could not be believed. Counsel said medical records revealed that the pain in his left hip had developed prior to the accident because of arthritis which had led to him having to have a subsequent hip replacement.
Consultant forensic engineer Tony O’Keeffe, giving evidence for the defendant company, Halstead Enterprises, trading as Scott’s Hotel, said that both the bath and tiling had been suitable for their intended purpose.
He said if Mr Feehan had used a bath mat and floor mat provided he most likely would not have come to grief.
The court heard that the accident happened on February 5, 2016 and Mr Feehan had gone to his GP 10 days later who had reported that the injury had affected Mr Feehan’s balance co-ordination, his ability to lift or carry, bend or squat and climb stairs. The doctor had been unable to test Mr Feehan’s hip movements due to pain.
Dismissing Feehan’s claim with an order he pay the hotel company’s costs, Judge Daly noted that no negligence could be attached to Scott’s Hotel because of any act or omission on its part. He said the hotel had not failed in its statutory duties towards Mr Feehan.