June 2015

Holidaymaker Awarded Compensation for Accident at Poolside

A man from County Antrim has been awarded compensation in excess of €40,000 (approximately £28,700) by the Dublin High Court after an accident by the poolside whilst he was on holiday.

The accident occurred on the 29th August when Vincent Reid, seventy-two of Lisburn in County Armagh was on a week-long package holiday at the Hotel Savoy Palace in Lake Garda, Italy. On the fourth day of his getaway, Mr Reid had just sat down on his lounger by the pool with the intent of relaxing and reading his paper. As he went to recline, the middle finger on his right hand was caught in the lounger’s arm and the tip of his finger was sliced off. Mr Reid sought emergency medical treatment at Lake Garda’s local hospital. His finger remained in a protective splint upon his return to his native Northern Ireland.

Mr Reid subsequently made a compensation claim against the Dublin travel company Topflight Ltd, which which the holiday was booked. The claim for the poolside accident was made through the Injuries Board. Yet the company denied any liability for the injury to Mr Reid’s finger, and the claim lodged by Mr Reid was moved to the High Court.

The hearing, overseen by Mr Justice Michael Hanna, heard Topflight Ltd’s representatives argue the injury that occurred to Mr Reid was not predictable, and that mechanism that enabled the chair to recline should have been locked in place before the victim attempted to recline. Yet Judge Hanna did not accept the unforeseeability of the incident, stating that if the sun lounger could collapse lest the mechanism be securely locked, this should have been known by staff at the hotel. The judge also heard of a similar incident to another Irish holidaymaker at the hotel but a few days earlier.

Judge Hanna ruled in favour of Mr Reid, finding Topflight Ltd was liable for the accident under the Irish Package Holidays and Travel Trade Act of 1995. Mr Reid was awarded €40,796 in compensation after hearing of Mr Reid’s ongoing pain and limited mobility in his digit.