Five people who claim they were injured when a lift in a Kerry hotel plummeted three floors to the ground have launched High Court actions.
The lift at the Killarney Plaza Hotel, it is alleged, buckled under the impact of the crash, side panels came loose, the false ceiling fell down and the mirrors shattered showering the occupants with glass.
Those who had earlier entered the lift in the hotel car park to make their way back to their rooms after attending a wedding ceremony 10 years ago, it is claimed were unable to contact the hotel staff by the lift phone or mobile phone.
However, a member of staff heard the crash, and the emergency services were alerted.
Three brothers, Andrew, Paul and Kevin Meehan along with Andrew’s wife Patricia O’Leary and Ms Jennie Wong were in the lift at the Killarney Plaza Hotel when it crashed to the ground on July 9th, 2011.
Counsel for all five, Barney Quirke SC told the High Court today the actions arise out of a very tragic accident when the lift failed to dock at the intended floor and instead “tragically plummeted” three floors to the basement. He said the five have suffered devastating consequences of their injuries and it has also affected the wider Meehan family.
Garda Sergeant Andrew Meehan and his wife Patricia O’Leary, also a garda of Co Meath along with the Meehan brothers Kevin and Paul and Jennie Wong have sued the hotel owners, Shawcove Ltd with registered offices at Castleisland, Co Kerry and companies involved in installing and maintaining lifts Ellickson Engineering Ltd, in receivership of Kilmurry, Waterford; Kilell Ltd also of Kilmurry, Waterford and Otis Ltd, Naas Road Business Park, Dublin and Otis Elevator Ireland Ltd of the same address as well as lift manufacturer Daldoss Elevetronic Spa of Valsugana, Italy.
The group had checked into the Killarney Plaza Hotel on July 9th, 2011, and later attended a wedding away from the premises.
On returning to the hotel in the early afternoon it is claimed the party got into the lift at the car park. The lift failed to stop, and the intended floor and it is claimed plummeted down crashing into the basement and causing significant injuries.
It is claimed there was an alleged failure to ensure the intended pathway from the car park was safe and free from hazard. And there was an alleged failure, it is claimed, to install a proper functioning lift from the car park to the hotel.
The claims are denied.
Mr Justice Hanna granted the parties until Wednesday morning to enter into talks to see if the five cases can be progressed. The actions are being heard remotely.