Judge Awards Compensation to Man Injured in Sunbed Accident

Compensation has been awarded by the High Court in Dublin to a man for injury caused by an accident involving a sunbed in 2012.

Vincent Reid (72) of Lisburn, County Antrim was on vacation at the Hotel Savoy in Lake Garda, Italy when the incident occurred. As the man leaned back on the sunbed, his middle finger was caught in the arm mechanism of the chair, slicing the tip of the finger off. Vincent was immediately transported to a nearby hospital, where he received suitable care for the injury to his right hand. His finger remained in a splint for three months following his return to Ireland.

The package holiday had been organised through the travel company Topflight Ltd. Vincent made is claim for compensation against them through the Injuries Board of Ireland. The defendant denied liability for the accident, claiming that such an event was unforeseeable to them.

Last week, Vincent’s case for compensation was heard by Mr Justice Michael Hanna at the High Court in Dublin, as the Injuries Board was unable to assess the claim themselves.

As evidence, the judge heard how a similar injury had been sustained by another Irish guest to the resort merely days before Vincent’s own accident. It was also explained that the chair had not been ready for use by Vincent; the arm mechanism should have been locked into place before it was suitable to be leaned on.

The judge dismissed the Dublin travel company’s claim that the accident could not have been foreseen. He stated that the fact that the sunbed would collapse had the arm mechanism not been locked in place would have been known to the staff at the resort, and they had been negligent in assuring that it was fully fit for use.

He also heard that Vincent still suffered pain in the affected finger, and had limited mobility in it as a result, which prevented him from participating in his hobbies such as DIY or gardening.

Judge Hanna found Topflight Ltd guilty of breaching the Package Holidays and Travel Trade Act of 1995, rendering them liable to pay €40,796 for a sunbed accident on holiday.

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