A 23-year-old make-up artist, who dislocated her right kneecap on a wet dancefloor at a Temple Bar nightclub, has been awarded damages against the nightclub owner.
Barrister Justin McQuade told Judge Alison Lindsay in the Circuit Civil Court today that Emma Fox’s knee “popped out” after she hit the floor but had “spontaneously popped in again” within minutes.
McQuade, who appeared for Fox with solicitors Hussey Fraser, said night club owner Ciaran Gray and two public house companies which own the premises where the nightclub was run, had ignored Ms Fox’s personal injuries claim for damages.
He said Gray, of Balrothery Estate, Tallaght, Dublin, who trades as Sin Bar & Nightclub Temple Bar and PCARD Taverns Ltd and Coco Taverns Ltd, of Sycamore Street, Temple Bar, had failed to enter an appearance and judgment had earlier been obtained against all of them.
McQuade said Fox, of The Meadows, Millfarm, Dunboyne, Co Meath, slipped and fell on a wet dancefloor at the Sin Bar Nightclub on St Patrick’s Night 2012.
He said she had been taken to St James’s Hospital, Dublin, but had gone home after facing a five-hour wait to be seen and had attended consultant J.A McKeever’s Emergency Medicine Clinic in Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown, the following day.
Fox said she had slipped and fallen on her knees, dislocating her right kneecap. Her kneecap had popped in again after about two minutes and the injury had since responded to immobilisation, anti-inflammatory medication and physiotherapy.
She had recovered well and noticed little change unless following heavy gym and circuit work or walking up several flights of stairs. She worked in the Blanchardstown Shopping Centre where she was on her feet most of the day.
McQuade told the court that Fox’s consultant, Mr McKeever, had noted she would have an increased predisposition to dislocating her kneecap in the future but this had not happened since. A worst-case scenario of recurrent dislocations would require wiring of the kneecap and the accident had increased the risk of this possibility.
Fox claimed the defendants had been negligent in having allowed dancers with drinks on to the dance floor and failing to have an adequate system of inspection, cleaning and drying of the floor which had been in a dangerous state.
Judge Alison Lindsay said the defendants, who were aware the case was going on today, had not responded to Fox’s claim which now became a matter of assessment of damages only.
The judge, awarding Fox €17,500 damages and legal costs, said she had recovered well but continued to have ongoing “niggles” with her knee.