A man who slipped and fell on what he claimed was sludge on an ice rink, and he later had to have a knee replacement, has sued in the High Court.
Mark Lynam told Mr Justice Tony O’Connor it was his first time skating seven years ago, and he had used a penguin, but as he skated on his own he saw “a build up of slush” on the ice.
He said he was trying to move away from it, but he didn’t go fast enough and went straight into it. “I was not able to do anything, I went in to it and fell back on my left hand.”
He said as he fell on the ground he heard a sound “like a stick breaking” and he was in a lot of pain in his knee area.
Mr Lynam had gone skating at Swords on Ice in North Co Dublin after a shopping trip a few days before Christmas 2014 because his then 4-year-old daughter wanted to skate.
At the opening of the case Mr Lynam’s counsel Paul Flannery SC instructed by Sean Grennan Solicitors said it was their case the cleaning of the ice which had taken place before Mr Lynam’s fall had allegedly not been carried out properly.
The court heard Mr Lynam is looking for “enhanced damages” because of his inability to work. Counsel said a few months before the accident in September 2014 Mr Lynam had left his job as a supermarket manager to help his mother, but at the time of the fall he had applied for another managerial job.
Mark Lynam (47) Newtown Park, Skerries Co Dublin has sued businesswoman Annie Arshank, Balinteer Road, Dundrum, Dublin trading as Swords on Ice; Blue Martini Group Ltd and Swords Promotional Leisure Activities Ltd both with registered offices at Herbert Street, Dublin over the accident on December 21st, 2014 at Swords on Ice at The Pavilions Town Centre, Swords, Co Dublin.
He has claimed an excess of sludge was allegedly allowed to build up on the ice rink and there was an alleged failure to adequately remove the alleged sludge build up.
He has further claimed there was an alleged failure to have in place any proper and appropriate system for the removal of sludge build up.
The claims are denied, and it is contended by the defendants that Mr Lynam was the author of his own misfortune and that he, on entering the ice rink, took on a voluntary assumption of risk.
The defendants have also claimed they acted at all material times with reasonable care in maintaining the ice skating area.
In evidence, Mr Lynam said he was taken off the ice in a wheelchair after the fall and brought to Beaumont Hospital where he was given a leg brace.
Two years later, Mr Lynam had surgery to replace his left knee and the court heard he will need revision surgery in about twenty years.
Cross-examined by Patricia Dillon SC for all three defendants, Mr Lynam agreed he was a complete novice but said he did not see signs warning people they are skating at their own risk.
He said he was not aware a warning was on the ice skating ticket. Counsel suggested to him there was no sludge or ice after the ice cleaning and if there were, it would have been spotted. Mr Lynam said he didn’t agree with that.
He added: “I expected it to be safe.”
The case before Mr Justice Tony O’Connor continues on Thursday.