Employer

Woman who sued employer after falling off stage at employee awards settles claim

A woman who sued after falling from a hotel stage at an employee awards ceremony has withdrawn a €180,000 loss of earnings claim as she settles her suit in court the High Court.

Teresa Fermoyle worked for Jurys Inn in Christchurch in Dublin until the accident where she fell from the stage and allegedly injured her back at a ceremony in Scotland where she received an employee long service award.

She sued her employer and the Scottish hotel which hosted the awards five years ago.

The settlement of the case on Tuesday came after cross-examination by defendants’ attorney Finbarr Fox SC with Shane English BL and Ali Bracken Ziad BL.

Teresa Fermoyle (61), of Drumcliffe Road, Cabra, Dublin, had sued her employer, Jurys Inns Group, with offices in Ballsbridge, Dublin, and the owners of the Hilton Doubletree hotel in Glasgow, Amaris Hospitality, with offices in Pembroke Road, Ballsbridge, following the crash on February 22, 2017.

She claimed that many other employees were called to the stage during the employee awards ceremony. She would have had to step back to make more space and would have fallen off the stage.

She further claimed that she continued to have lower back pain and was unable to return to work.

All claims were dismissed and it was argued that there was contributory negligence on the part of Ms. Fermoyle in that she allegedly failed to consider the background and failed to give a sufficient attention to where she was standing or moving.

On the second day of the hearing cross-examined by Finbarr Fox SC, Ms Fermoyle said that when she sat down she was in pain.

“I’m in constant pain,” she told the court.

Surveillance videos

Showing stills from surveillance videos taken of her shopping at different locations, she said: ‘I’m trying to live a normal life, I’m not a hermit. I must eat.”

The attorney told her that on one occasion she was pushing a shopping cart that looked “pretty full” and carrying another bag.

Mrs. Fermoyle replied that this did not mean that she was not in pain.

The lawyer told Ms Fermoyle she could not be described as someone in constant pain, that was simply not the case.

“It is,” she replied.

The lawyer told her that she had stated that she had no income other than welfare, but he told her that she was “running a rental business from her home”.

“I’m not. It’s like I’m making millions. I’m not,” Ms Fermoyle said. She said she rented a room to cover her bills but didn’t say so because that she didn’t think it was relevant, she said it was just “a little money and it wasn’t an income like going to a factory”.

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The lawyer explained to Ms Fermoyle that she had never disclosed that she made money from a rental business, Ms Fermoyle replied that it was “not a lot of money”.

She also said she had a lot of family staying at her house. The lawyer told her that “she has hardly any Latin American family”.

Mr. Fermoyle replied that she had family in Italy.

When the case resumed in the afternoon, Judge Paul Coffey was advised that the case had been settled and could be struck out and the claim for loss of income had been withdrawn.