FIVE people who claim they were injured when a hotel lift plummeted three floors to the basement have launched High Court actions.
he lift at the Killarney Plaza Hotel allegedly buckled under the impact of the crash, side panels came loose, the false ceiling fell down and the mirrors shattered, showering the occupants with glass, the court heard.
The five had used the lift in the hotel car park to make their way back to their rooms after attending a wedding ceremony.
It was claimed they were unable to contact the hotel staff by the lift phone or mobile phone.
However, a member of staff heard the crash, and the emergency services were alerted.
Three brothers, Andrew, Paul and Kevin Meehan, along with Andrew’s wife Patricia O’Leary and Jennie Wong were allegedly injured in the lift accident on July 9, 2011.
Barney Quirke SC, for the five, told the court on Tuesday the actions arose out of an accident when the lift failed to dock at the intended floor and instead “tragically plummeted” three floors to the basement.
He said the five have suffered devastating consequences from their injuries and it has also affected the wider Meehan family.
Andrew Meehan, who is a garda sergeant, and his wife Patricia O’Leary, who is also a garda in Co Meath, along with the Meehan brothers Kevin and Paul and Ms Wong, have sued the hotel owners, Shawcove Ltd, with registered offices at Castleisland, Co Kerry.
They have also sued companies involved in installing and maintaining lifts, Ellickson Engineering Ltd, in receivership, of Kilmurry, Waterford; Kilell Ltd, also of Kilmurry, and Otis Ltd and Otis Elevator, both of Naas Road Business Park, Dublin.
They have also sued the lift manufacturer Daldoss Elevetronic Spa of Valsugana, Italy.
The group had checked into the Killarney Plaza on July 9 and later attended a wedding away from the premises.
It is claimed there was a failure to ensure the intended pathway from the car park was safe and free from hazard.
There was an alleged failure to install a proper functioning lift from the car park to the hotel.
The claims are denied.
Mr Justice Michael Hanna was told, as the case was due to open today, that the Meehan side wanted to start with the action of Patricia O’Leary who had to be cut from the lift by emergency services after the accident.
Ms O’Leary, who suffered a fractured leg along with ankle, knee and chest injuries, now has to use a spinal cord stimulator and is in significant pain, the court heard.
Mr Justice Hanna adjourned the matter to Wednesday to allow the parties enter into talks to see if the five cases can be progressed.
The actions are being heard remotely.