High Court reporters
A woman who fell off a stage and allegedly hurt her back at a ceremony where she got an employee long-service award has sued her employer and the hotel which hosted the event.
Teresa Fermoyle, who worked at Jurys Inn in Christchurch, Dublin, told the High Court she had been flown to Glasgow, Scotland for the awards ceremony, which was attended by 400 people from across Britain and Ireland.
But Ms Fermoyle, who had worked with Jurys Inn, Christchurch for 25 years, said after she went on stage and accepted her long-service scroll, she fell off the back of the stage as more people were called up to collect their awards.
She later found out she had fractured a vertebra in her back. She told the court she has not worked since the accident five years ago.
Her action against her employer and the owners of the Hilton Doubletree Hotel, Glasgow, which hosted the awards event, includes a claim for over €180,000 in total loss of earnings.
Opening her case, Roughan Banim SC told the court there was an event with an “Oscars type theme” and Ms Fermoyle had climbed three steps to a small stage where she shook the hand of the Jurys Inn Group chief executive.
He said they did not know how many people joined Ms Fermoyle on the stage, but it was their case that it became crowded and Ms Fermoyle fell off the back of the stage two or three feet to the ground.
He said she passed out and water was put on her face to wake her and she was transferred to hospital.
Teresa Fermoyle (61), of Drumcliffe Road, Cabra West, Dublin, has sued her employer, Jurys Inns Group with offices at Ballsbridge, Dublin, and Amaris Hospitality with offices at Pembroke Road, Ballsbridge, the owners of the Hilton Doubletree Hotel, Glasgow, as a result of the accident on February 22nd, 2017.
She has claimed that many more employees were called on to the stage during the employee award ceremony, and she was allegedly required to move back to make more space on stage and fell off.
It is claimed there was a black curtain at the back of the stage which meant the drop behind was not visible to anyone on the stage.
She has claimed she continues to have lower back pain and she has not been able to return to work.
All the claims are denied and it is contended there was alleged contributory negligence on Ms Fermoyle’s behalf in that she allegedly did not heed the back of the stage and she allegedly failed to pay any or any adequate attention as to where she was standing or moving to.
In evidence Ms Fermoyle told the court her name was called out and she went up to collect her scroll, but she said others followed and nobody left the stage. She said there were “so many people” on the stage. After she fell she said somebody sprinkled water on her face and she was in a lot of pain.
The case before Mr Justice Paul Coffey continues next week.