A holidaymaker who sustained a broken nose after a set of electronic doors closed on him at Dublin Airport has been awarded compensation for his injury.

Thomas and Evelyn Smyth travelled to Dublin Airport from their home in County Cavan in January of 2011 in order to take an Aer Lingus flight to Tenerife. On their way to board to plane, an electronic door that was programmed to automatically shut after some period of time closed on Thomas, breaking his nose in the process.

The sixty-three year old victim was brought to the nearby Beaumont Hospital to receive treatment for the fracture. As a consequence, the couple missed their flight to the Canary Islands, and their holiday was delayed. Flights were reorganised for two days later than planned, but the rest of their holiday was tainted by the incident at the airport.

Upon returning home, the couple sought legal counsel. A claim was made for compensation for his broken nose against both Aer Lingus and the Dublin Airport Authority. While both parties acknowledged that negligence was the cause of the injury, both were also reluctant to admit liability for the incident.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane heard the case the the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin. She heard that a total settlement of €19,000 had agreed to be given as a result of the injury sustained by the victim. However, there had yet to be an agreement over who was liable to pay this sum to Thomas as compensation for the injury sustained at Dublin Airport.

The judge heard that the door was timed to close thirty minutes after it was initially opened by one of flight company’s attendants, and that it was working properly in this manner. In reacting to this evidence, Judge Linnane found Aer Lingus responsible for the accident, stating that if more time was required to board all of the passengers safely onto the plane, then it was their responsibility to request that more time be made available to them from the DAA.

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