March 24, 2016
A judge at Belfast High Court has awarded a sixty-six year old pensioner £60,000 injury compensation for slipping on ice outside of a church.
Angela McCluskey´s accident happened in December 2010 as she was visiting St Malachy´s Chapel in Armagh to light a candle on the anniversary of her niece´s death. As Angela walked up the path to the entrance of the church, she slipped on ice and fell heavily – dislocating her knee and sustaining an injury to her ligaments.
The former hospital cleaner and school dinner lady was taken to hospital where she underwent surgery for her injuries and was later discharged in a wheelchair. Angela has had to move from her previous home to a single-storey bungalow that she is able to negotiate with help from a walking stick.
Angela claimed injury compensation for slipping on ice outside of a church from St Patrick’s Archdiocesan Trust. The Trust said that it had done all that it could to prevent injuries to visitors in extremely harsh weather and denied responsibility for Angela´s injuries.
The case went to Belfast High Court where Mrs Justice Siobhan Keegan found in Angela´s favour. The judge said that, although the path to the entrance to the church had been salted the night before Angela´s slip and fall accident, it should have been checked for hazards the following morning.
Saying that the Trust could have implemented other measures to prevent a risk of injury to church visitors, she commented: “In my view the risk was clearly foreseeable considering the extreme weather at the time”. The judge also dismissed suggestions of Angela´s contributory negligence.
Awarding Angela £60,000 injury compensation for slipping on ice outside of a church, the judge noted that the Trust had no formal system in place to manage the church grounds at the time of Angela´s accident and had not conducted a risk assessment to evaluate whether the church should remain open.