Woman (88) settles action against council over footpath fall for €160,000

An 88-year-old woman who claimed she suffered injuries after she allegedly tripped and fell on a footpath in Kilkenny City has settled her High Court action for €160,000.

Sarah Mahoney, of Pearse Street, Kilkenny, had sued Kilkenny County Council over the alleged fall four years ago.

She claimed she was caused to lose her footing when she encountered an alleged defective and hazardous broken section of footpath.

Her counsel, David Kennedy SC, told the High Court it was their case that Mrs Mahoney was walking near McDonagh Street not far from her home on the afternoon of September 19th, 2020th when she allegedly tripped and fell on an alleged broken section of footpath.

He said Mrs Mahoney fell forward onto her face and outstretched arm, suffering fractures to her arm and injury to her face. She also suffered an immediate nosebleed and was brought to hospital by ambulance.

She spent five days in hospital and counsel said Mrs Mahoney’s daughter had to care for her mother at home for another three weeks after the fall.

He added their side’s engineering expert would say there appeared to be vehicular damage to the footpath in question.

Mr Kennedy said Mrs Mahoney had been a very active woman prior to the incident, but this changed thereafter.

He told Mr Justice Paul Coffey the Mahoney side would face a battle in relation to liability in the case, noting all the claims were denied by the council.

In the proceedings, which Mrs Mahoney brought through her daughter Catherine Conde, it was claimed there was an alleged failure in the construction of the footpath to ensure that it would be capable of taking the weight of vehicular traffic.

It was further claimed there was an alleged failure to adequately compact the subbase of the path, and as a result, it was allegedly caused to subside and break.

It was also claimed there was an alleged failure to ensure that portion of the footpath was safe and suitable for pedestrians such as Mrs Mahoney.

All the claims were denied.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Paul Coffey noted there was a significant litigation risk in the case, adding he thought the offer was fair and reasonable.

If you would like an assessment of a claim, you can use the online form available here without obligation or alternatively you can use the automatic claim calculator.

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