Man awarded €105,000 after slipping on porch tiles at home.
Judge says choice of tiling made local-authority house unfit for habitation
Thu, Nov 30, 2017.
High Court ruling: the judge declined to find against Thomas Keegan because of the amount of beer he had drunk
A man who fractured his ankle after slipping on tiles at the entrance to his local-authority home has been awarded €105,000 in damages at the High Court. Mr Justice Anthony Barr said the use of the mosaic tiles in an exterior porch was inappropriate and made the property unfit for habitation.
Thomas Keegan told the court he was on his way home from a funeral and had drunk five pints of beer on the day of the accident, in November 2013. He slipped on the tiles as he was entering his home, on McNeill Drive in Cranmore in Sligo, and fell forward, landing in the hall. He later had an operation on the ankle. He sued Sligo County Council, which denied liability and claimed Mr Keegan (49) failed to take reasonable care for his safety.
The judge accepted Mr Keegan’s evidence that his ankle is still painful, particularly when he stands for long periods, walks on uneven ground or climbs steps and stairs. Mr Justice Barr said that, as “this is a man who has worked in manual labouring jobs all his life, I decline to make any adverse finding against him having regard to the level of alcohol consumed by him that day”.
He said engineers on both sides had agreed that, after tests, the tiles presented a low risk of slipping when dry and a moderate risk when wet. The engineers disagreed about whether that made the tiles inappropriate for the porch.
The judge stayed the damages so that the council could appeal the award, on condition that it paid Mr Keegan €30,000 immediately.
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