Never used a crutch except when visiting doctors

A retired waiter, who claimed he injured his ankle in an accident at a restaurant in which he worked, withdrew his claim after counsel for his former employer challenged him as to why he never used a crutch or had a limp except when visiting doctors.

The retired waiter claimed that he slipped on a wet floor and turned over his ankle as he served breakfast to two customers. He alleged there was a failure to ensure the floor was in a safe condition and that he was now disabled in day-to-day activities. The accident occurred ten years before the court hearing, when the waiter was aged 61. His claim included a claim for special damages totalling €250,000, a large portion of which was for hospital bills.

When challenged by counsel for his former employer, who told the court that there were 12 videoed observations of the former waiter taken from March 2012 to the weekend before the court hearing, as to why he never used a crutch or had a limp except when visiting doctors, the former waiter replied none of the videos showed he was suffering from chronic pain.

Toward the end of the first day of the hearing, the judge, Ms Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon, warned both sides that “the stakes in the case are high” and if there was wisdom, more research might be carried out overnight.

When the court reconvened in the afternoon of the second day of hearing, counsel for the retired waiter told the court the case had been settled on terms which did not involve a payment of compensation and the claim was withdrawn in its entirety. He asked that no order be made as to costs. (Durnin v Cogan’s Bar and Restaurant: High Court, July 2019)