On Wednesday 15 th May 2024, OBL Partner Mary Byrne, on behalf of the Michael McLoughlin trading as Dundalk Cabs successfully obtained an Order to Dismiss a Plaintiff’s action before Judge Patrick Quinn of Dundalk Circuit Court on the grounds that the Plaintiff’s delays in bringing the claim resulted in a prejudice against the Defendant, who could not adequately defend the claim. The Court was not satisfied that the Plaintiff discharged his onus of proof in establishing negligence as against the Defendant. The Plaintiff’s claim was for the recovery of damages allegedly sustained in a trip and fall type accident in December 2017.

The Plaintiff claimed to have slipped and fell on the Defendant’s premises sustaining facial injuries. He further claimed that he suffered the injuries due to the Defendant’s negligence in failing to have mats covering the tiled floor causing him to slip on wet tiles and require nine stitches above his eyebrow causing him to suffer anxiety due to the permanent scarring.

The Defence claimed that the mats were always present on the floor, the floor was cleaned regularly by staff members and that the incident was never reported to any employee on the night.

The Defendant’s position was that they received no notification of the claim for almost two years after the incident. Frank Martin BL argued on behalf of the Defendant that this amounted to prejudice against the Defendant as the Defendant could not adequately defend the action and that it was a grossly unfair way to litigate.

Judge Patrick Quinn accepted that the Plaintiff did indeed suffer an injury on the night in question. However, he went on to state that it was unfair to fix responsibility on the Defendant in the circumstances where the Plaintiff brought a claim almost 2 years after the accident occurred. Judge Quinn accepted the Defendant’s engineering evidence which established the presence of mats. He also commented that the Plaintiff could have brought witnesses to Court to support his version of events
but did not.