Woman injured in fall on Co Donegal green settles case for €60,000

Denise Kerr (40), from Letterkenny, sued local authority after suffering triple fracture to left ankle in February 2021

A 40-year-old woman who claimed she injured her ankle when she tripped and fell crossing an open green area three years ago has settled her High Court action for €60,000.

Denise Kerr, who suffered a triple fracture to her left ankle, sued Donegal County Council as a result of the alleged fall at Fairgreen Hill, Letterkenny.

Miriam Reilly SC, for Ms Kerr, told the court her client, who has an intellectual disability, suffered a significant injury to her ankle and was brought to hospital by ambulance. She required surgery and plates were inserted into her ankle.

Ms Reilly, instructed by Jolene McElhinney solicitor, said Ms Kerr was in hospital for two weeks but later had to return due to infection and had to have the plates removed. Counsel said Ms Kerr has been left with some scars around her ankle. Counsel said a full defence was filed in the case.

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She said the case involved gravel which had been placed in the open green area.

Ms Kerr, of Mountain Top, Letterkenny, had through her mother, Rosita Kerr, sued the council over the maintenance, management, care and upkeep of the common area of Fairgreen Hill and her fall on February 23rd, 2021.

She claimed she was lawfully walking on the common area which she said was under the council’s control when the incident happened.

It was claimed the placing of grit or debris on the common area created a danger and there was a failure to warn Ms Kerr of its presence. It was further claimed there was a failure to erect signs or cordon off the area where the grit or debris was present. It was further claimed there was a failure to clear away the grit or debris in and adequate or correct manner.

Immediately after the fall, it was claimed, Ms Kerr was unable to get up and was in severe pain. It was claimed that her mobility was significantly compromised as a result of the incident and she was unable to return to her own independent accommodation and instead had to live with her mother while she recovered. She also had to have physiotherapy.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Paul Coffey noted the litigation risk in the case and said the settlement was fair and reasonable.

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