Courts increasingly finding against pubs

Courts are increasingly finding in favour of those involved in cases of injury following altercations between customers on licensed premises and the liability trend in this regard “has deteriorated somewhat in recent months” according to Walter Moran, Manager of Technical Sales at FBD Insurance.

He was speaking at the Licensed Vintners Association’s annual AGM luncheon in Bewleys Hotel in Ballsbridge, Dublin, yesterday. FBD sponsored the event for the ninth year in a row.

“The courts are increasingly finding in favour of customers on liability issues even when a robust defence is presented,” he told the Dublin vintners and industry suppliers attending the lunch, reminding them that “The Circuit Court jurisdiction limit increased from €38,000 to €60,000 for personal injury recently. Additionally, insurers and publicans are now faced with reimbursement of any illness benefits paid by the Department of Social Protection during a laid-up period following an injury and this was not an expense we would have incurred in the past.

“These developments are a challenge for the publican and insurer. Time spent on minimising risks and frequency of accidents by publicans is well spent and enables the publican control insurance costs.”

He pointed out that slips and trips represent at least 60% of FBD’s Public Liability claims and that attention to good housekeeping procedures, spillages management and use of non-slip surfaces in vulnerable areas is key to minimising the risks.

“Trained security personnel and use of CCTV are probably the most effective way to prevent and control outbreaks of violence,” he said.

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