A barrister who slipped and injured his back on a sheet of ice at Dublin Airport has been awarded just under €28,000 against Aer Lingus and Stobart Air.
A bid by the two airlines to pin the blame for the accident on Dublin airport operator DAA was thrown out by Judge Terence O’Sullivan in the Circuit Civil Court on Wednesday.
Adam Dodd, who celebrated his 37th birthday only two weeks ago, told his counsel Conor Kearney he had disembarked from a Stobart Air flight at Dublin on December 10th, 2017 and, with other passengers, had been directed to walk to a nearby shuttle bus parked on the apron of the airport.
Dodd, of Manor Avenue, Wainsfort Grove, Terenure, Dublin 6W, said that as he was about to board the bus he slipped on a sheet of ice right at the entrance doors to the vehicle. His left leg had slid forward against the bus and he had struck his lower back against the ground.
When he had been helped to his feet by other passengers he pointed out the sheet of ice to the bus driver who had then moved the bus backwards from it. He had felt pain in his leg after entering the bus.
He told barrister Mairead McKenna, who appeared for the DAA with Gore and Grimes Solicitors, that passengers had been directed towards the shuttle bus by a ground marshal and no-one had been given any warning of ice on the ground either by the marshal or air crew as passengers exited the Stobart Air aircraft.
Mr Dodd said he had self-medicated the pain in his leg and lower back for some days but eventually had to attend his GP who had prescribed painkillers, physiotherapy and an exercise regime. His leg injury had cleared up quite quickly, but his back problem had persisted for up to two years.
An airport duty manager told the court that weather conditions were below zero on the night of the accident and the apron around where the plane had come to a stop had been earlier sprayed with de-icing fluid. Had Stobart Air, which was handling the flight and disembarkation on behalf of Aer Lingus, sought a second de-icing this would have been carried out.
He said it was the responsibility of Stobart Air or Aer Lingus to disembark their passengers and arrange shuttle transport for them to the airport building.
Judge O’Sullivan, awarding Mr Dodd €27,500 damages for personal injury and €300 for associated expenses, said it was the duty of Aer Lingus and Stobart Air to care for their passengers and DAA bore no responsibility whatever for the accident.