A woman, who was in plaster for seven weeks following a slip and fall accident, has been awarded €105,000 compensation for an ankle injury at Dublin Zoo.
On June 12, 2011, forty-three year old Gwen Kane treated her family to a day out at Dublin Zoo to celebrate her son´s first birthday. However, as Gwen was pushing her son´s buggy past the sea lion enclosure, she slipped on a wet manhole cover – dislocating her right ankle.
Gwen from Firhouse in Dublin was taken to hospital, where her right leg was put in plaster to give the ankle some support. The plaster was removed after seven weeks, but Gwen had to continue using crutches for a further nine weeks until the ankle had fully healed.
Although able to walk without support, Gwen continued to experience pain in her ankle. She claimed compensation for an ankle injury against the Zoological Society of Ireland – who, although giving their consent for the Injuries Board to conduct an assessment, contested the value of the assessment when it was released.
Consequently, Gwen took her claim for compensation for an ankle injury at Dublin Zoo to the High Court, where her case was presented to Mr Justice Anthony Barr. At the hearing, Judge Barr heard the Zoological Society of Ireland had failed to provide a safe environment for the zoo´s visitors by neglecting to clear away the previous night´s rainwater.
The judge was also told of the consequences to Gwen´s quality of life following her accident and that, due to her dislocated ankle, Gwen had to forego her hobbies of Breton folk dancing, cycling and long-distance walking – activities that she frequently participated in to raise money for charity.
At the end of the hearing, Judge Barr commented he was satisfied Gwen had given a fair and accurate account of the consequences of her accident. He awarded her €105,000 compensation for an ankle injury at Dublin Zoo in respect of her pain and suffering and a further €9,988 special damages to account for the financial cost of her injury.