A man who suffered brain injuries after falling down the stairs of a Dublin pub has been awarded €250,000 in damages for his injury claim against the establishment.

Frank McHugh (80) fell down the stairs of the Stag’s Head pub while making a trip to the bathroom during a family meal to celebrate Easter weekend in April, 2011.

The claim, alleging that the pub was negligent in ensuring that there was a safe and secure means of accessing the toilets, was made through Frank’s son, Patrick McHugh. Patrick also stated that there were no signs present in the building warning of the precautions that must be taken on the stairwell, and therefore the pub is further at fault.

The pub’s proprietor, Shelbourne O’Brien Ltd, denied liability for accident. They stated that the fault was on Frank himself, as he failed to descend the staircase in a safe and appropriate manner, and the fall was not due to negligence on their part.

CCTV footed was provided as evidence on behalf of Shelbourne O’Brien Ltd to contest the claim. On camera, it can be seen that Frank takes the initial step down the stairs himself, before he proceeds to fall forwards.

The case was heard by Ms Justice Mary Irvine at the High Court in Dublin. She heard that the company was willing to make an offer of a quarter of a million euro as a settlement, despite denying the claims against them. The judge was further informed that the family had been legally advised to accept the sum, despite the fact that the amount was only a small portion of what a full settlement would be if the case went to trial.

The settlement was approved by the judge, despite her acknowledging that it would not cover many of the care costs that were the consequence of the injury. Ms Justice Mary Irvine commented that the claim made my Frank against Shelbourne O’Brien Ltd was unlikely to be successful if there was a full trial, due to lack of evidence implicating the defendants.

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