May 2015

Judge Awards Claimant Compensation After Injury at Health Club

A judge in a Dublin court has awarded the hotel supervisor, aged thirty, €30,000 in compensation for the injuries she sustained at a health club.

The incident occurred on 13th November, 2011 when Timea Babos was at the West Wood Club in Dublin. Having just emerged from the sauna, Ms Babos had decided to go for a swim. She was an accomplished swimmer, and dove straight into the pool – not realising that it was only a depth of 1.35 metres (approximately four feet). As a result, Ms Babos smacked her face off the bottom of the pool and broke her two front teeth.

Ms Babos reported her accident to the reception desk before rushing to attend an evening appointment at her doctor’s surgery. She was bleeding heavily, and in much pain, but her doctor managed to stop the bleeding and set her on a course of painkillers. Ms Babos then travelled to Hungary to get crowns on her two broken teeth. Ms Babos then sought legal counsel on her return home, and made a compensation claim against the health club for the injuries she suffered there.

Ms Babos alleged that, in their failure to have a lifeguard posted on duty and for not have adequate signage indicating the depth of the pool, the health club her negligent and thus liable for her injuries. She said that the pool was usually a uniform depth throughout, and this meant that there should have been some indication to guests that it was not safe to dive into the pool.

The health club denied that they were completely responsible for Ms Babos’ injuries. They states that, as a competent and experienced swimmer, she should have known to check the depth of the water before taking her dive. Total liability was declined, and as a result the Injuries Board awarded Ms Babos with an authorisation to follow her claim through the courts.

The was was overseen by Judge Jacqueline Linnane. At the hearing, the West Wood Club stated that Ms Babos had not chosen a safe method of entering the pool. Evidence was also heard from a forensic witness that stated that there was not adequate markings on the pool’s edge to warn of its depth, and attested to the lack of supervision. Judge Linnane dismissed claims that Ms Babos held some accountability for her injuries and awarded her €30,000 in compensation for her injuries at the health club.