Baldwin v National Museum of Ireland [2019] IEHC 593 

The High Court in Dublin recently awarded an Australian tourist almost €70,000 after he fell down a set of stone steps at the National Museum of Ireland. 

The Sydney-native and his wife had flown into Dublin over the June Bank Holiday in 2016.

In the course of their trip, they visited the Kildare Street premises. The husband was descended the main balcony stairway, which comprising seven-steps with a hand-rail for all but the last three bottom stairs. As he reached the second or third last stair, he slipped sustaining injury including a ruptured tendon in his leg. 

The Court dismissed that there was any contributory negligence on tourist’s part:

The said accident was caused by the negligence of the defendant in failing to provide a safe system in particular a railing for a person such as the plaintiff to hold onto the entire way down the said staircase

It occurs that the building in question was built in 1890.  It is unclear from the judgment whether any similar incidents had occurred in the intervening period.  In any event, this case highlights the need to conduct regular health and safety audits, record your findings and act upon them.

By Paul Sullivan FRSA

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