A 56-year-old sales assistant who fell down emergency exit stairs in a bus as it crossed a speed bump has been awarded damages in the Circuit Civil Court against Bus Éireann.
Judge Cormac Quinn, after deciding that Marina Jones, of The Grove, Earlscourt, Kill, Co Kildare, was partly negligent about her own safety, cut a €20,000 damages award by 20pc to €16,000.
He said that while walking towards the exit she had turned sideways to speak to her son and as a result had been unable to hold onto seats on both sides of the aisle, causing her to fall into the stairwell when the bus crossed the speed ramp.
Ms Jones told the court she had been on a traditional December 8 family shopping trip to Dublin in 2017 and had got up out of her seat as the bus approached her stop in Kill. Her husband, Brendan, had preceded her and was carrying all of their shopping bags.
She said the bus had been travelling fast and she and her husband believed the driver had not planned to pull in to their bus stop. Her husband had got up and was walking towards the driver to ask him to stop.
Suddenly, as she followed him towards the exit, something had happened that had caused her to fall into the stairwell, injuring her left shoulder and ribs. She had been helped up by her husband and the driver who had said he was sorry about what had happened.
She had “managed” following a four-day break, to work through the Christmas sales at an outlet where she was employed as a sales assistant.
Brendan Jones told Judge Quinn he was holding the seats on both sides of the aisle as he walked towards the driver.
Judge Quinn said he accepted that as the bus approached speed ramps at a mini-roundabout in Kill it had been travelling at a speed in excess of what was safe to cross the road safety features.
He said Ms Jones had stopped to say goodbye to her son, who was travelling on to the next bus stop, and had been standing with her back to the bus stairs when the bus swayed. She had not, like her husband, been holding on to seats on both sides of the aisle.
If you have been injured on a bus in Ireland, you can use the online calculator to see how much you could possibly claim. Alternatively, you can complete the online claim form and a human will assess the case. This is a free to use service for the public.