Man awarded compensation for a fall between a train and a platform

March 21, 2017

A man has been awarded €25,000 compensation for a fall between a train and a platform after his reward was reduced due to his contributory negligence.

On August 2nd 2012, the plaintiff – a fisherman from Dun Laoghaire in Dublin – was travelling on a commuter train from Dun Laoghaire to Connolly Street, when he mistakenly alighted at Tara Street. Realising his mistake, the plaintiff turned quickly and tried to re-board the train. However, he slipped, and fell through the gap between the train and the platform onto the tracks below.

The plaintiff was able to haul himself back up onto the platform, re-board the train and continue his journey. On his arrival at Connolly Street, he reported the accident, but he had to return home soon after because of a pain in his right shoulder, He attended St Michael´s Hospital the following day, where an x-ray revealed a triple fracture.

The plaintiff applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of compensation for a fall between a train and a platform, but Irish Rail declined its consent for the claim to be assessed. The Injuries Board issued the plaintiff with an authorisation to take his claim to court, and it was heard last week at the Circuit Civil Court before Mr Justice Raymond Groarke.

At the hearing, Judge Groarke was told there was no CCTV footage of the accident despite there being “probably more CCTV cameras at Tara Street Station than there are at Pinewood Studios.” He was also told that there had been eleven previous incidents of passengers falling between a train and a platform in the past five years, yet no warnings for passengers to mind the gap had been given by the driver of the train.

Judge Groarke said Irish Rail had an “absolute requirement” to warn passengers to mind the gap and found Irish Rail liable for the plaintiff´s injury. However, the judge said that, although the plaintiff may have been distracted by getting off of the train at the wrong station, he had a duty of care to look where he was going. He attributed the plaintiff with 50% contributory negligence and reduced the award of compensation for a fall between a train and a platform from €50,000 to €25,000.

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