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€1 Million Compensation for a Trip and Fall Injury Approved

A High Court judge has approved a €1 million settlement of compensation for a trip and fall injury in favour of a man who suffered a brain injury when he fell.

James O´Sullivan (32) was walking through the Muddy Hill Car Park in Mallow, County Cork, late in the evening of December 10, 2007, when he tripped over a base unit which was supporting a Heras fence at the boundary of the car park and fell onto wasteland below.

The fall – estimated to be between twelve and twenty feet – knocked James unconscious and he was taken to Mallow General Hospital before being transferred to Cork University Hospital to receive treatment for a serious head injury.

On his discharge from hospital, James sought legal advice, and made a claim for compensation for a trip and fall injury against Mallow Town Council, Denis Murphy, Kilpatrick Civil Engineering Ltd, and Groundworks on the basis that the unlit car park was dangerous and had exposed him to the risk of loss, injury and damage.

In his action for compensation, James – who lives and works in Mallow – alleged he suffers from forgetfulness since his accident, post-traumatic epilepsy and post-traumatic stress disorder. He also claims to have suffered a profound neurological impairment as a result of the accident.

The four defendants against whom James claimed compensation for a trip and fall injury each denied their liability. They also contested the extent of James´ injuries. Consequently, the Injuries Board could not adjudicate on his application for assessment and the case proceeded to the High Court.

At the High Court, Mr Justice Kevin Cross heard that a €1 million offer of compensation for a trip and fall injury had been made without admission of liability. After being told that James was willing to accept the offer, the judge approved the settlement – stating that it was a good one in the circumstances as if the case had proceeded, and the defendants´ contention was accepted, there was a risk that James might not receive such a large settlement of compensation for a trip and fall injury.