A THIRTY-THREE-year-old woman who sued the Dublin nightclub Copper Face Jacks for injuries sustained while pulling some moves on the dance floor has lost her case.
Ciara O’Connell was out with a group of work friends on 4 August 2006.
After a few drinks in a pub, the group had made their way to Coppers on Harcourt Street where Ms O’Connell and her colleague Noel Humphries took to the dance floor.
According to the judgement handed down by Mr Justice Ryan today:
It was modern dancing of the kind that takes place in night clubs and which is not easy to describe in terms that make sense. Mr Condon SC for the defendant described it as dirty dancing, after the film.
Justice Ryan also noted that there was no suggestion that the plaintiff was drunk or incapable.
According to the judgement, O’Connell and Humphries were not dancing like Baby and Johnny here, but rather she was behind him and they were dancing backwards to a song by Shakira.
Humphries fell backwards and on top of his dance partner.
She sustained an fracture to her left arm, which led to her missing three months of work.
Witnesses and the plaintiff said that the dance floor was wet when Ms O’Connell fell and the judge in the case acknowledged that this was a possibility, with CCTV images showing other patrons dancing in the area holding bottles.
However, he also said that while the floor where the plaintiff landed was wet, it was not as clear to distinguish if a wet floor was to blame for the fall.
An engineer brought in by the defendant in 2009 concluded that the floor in Coppers is safe even when wet.
Justice Ryan concluded:
In the circumstances, I do not think that the plaintiff’s injuries can be attributed to a slippery floor maintained by the defendant and there is no room therefore for a finding of negligence against the defendant.