Delia Manning (69) had entered the hotel through the emergency doors when she slipped and fell, injuring her ankle. Despite the Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke stating that he was satisfied that the hotel’s entrance floor had been impeccable and maintained to the highest standards, he sanctioned the award because this was “an accident waiting to happen”. She should not have been allowed to enter the hotel through the emergency doors without a mat having been laid down.
He explained that engineering evidence had shown that the floor became slippery when moisture was carried in under people’s shoes and no mat had been present to trap any potential moisture.
Delia Manning had been attending the last day of the Dublin Horse Show in the RDS in August 2014. The day had been wet and the show had ended early. She had decided to go back home to Kinsale and had been returning to the hotel as the barrier from the car park was not opening. She’d slipped on returning to the hotel to have her ticket checked.
The defendants, Herbert Park Hotel Ltd and Sheelin McSharry (Ballsbridge) Ltd, denied liability claiming that she’d used the emergency doors because the main entrance was crowded at the time and that she’d been rushing.
Judge Groarke accepted that she may have been distracted and so reduced his initial award from €75,000 by 25% for contributory negligence.