€67,000 for hit from falling bag.

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An 80-year-old woman who suffered a life-changing experience when a piece of overhead luggage fell on her has been awarded €67,000 damages.  Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard that the lady’s plane had just landed at Dublin Airport and a heavy bag had fallen on her when another passenger had opened the overhead locker.  The bag had struck the lady on her face, neck and shoulder.  Liability had been conceded by the airline and the court was being asked to assess the amount of damages due.  The lady told the court that following the incident she had suffered pain to her right shoulder and temple. She said she had felt dizzy on her way to the medical officer in the airport.  Prior to this she had been very active and independent and said the incident had compromised her considerably.  Judge Groarke awarded her €35,000 damages for pain and suffering; €30,000 special damages and €2,366 for expenses. He said that prior to the accident the claimant had an “extraordinarily active life”.  He said that although the lady was a very young 80 she had a difficult time in the last three-and-a-half years.  He said she remained optimistic and had done her best to get on with life.  The barrister for the airline asked for a stay on order on the basis that €35,000 be paid out.  The judge said the airline was entitled to a stay and directed the claimant, in the meantime, be paid €45,000.