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Antrim man who lost finger tip in Lake Garda sunbed awarded £30,000

A Northern Ireland man has been awarded €40,000 (£30,000) after he lost the tip of one of his fingers due to a defective catching mechanism on a sunbed at his hotel swimming pool.

Vincent Reid (72), a retired construction manager from Lisburn, Co Antrim, sued Topflight Ltd, the travel agency which provided the week-long package holiday for him and his wife to the Hotel Savoy Palace, Lake Garda, Italy, in August 2012.

Topflight, which was sued as organiser of the holiday under the 1995 Package Holidays and Travel Trade Act, has issued proceedings in Italy for an indemnity against the hotel as provider of the sunbed service, Dublin High Court heard.

Topflight claimed the accident was not forseeable.

The sun lounger involved worked on the basis of armrests on either side catching in place before a person leans back on it.

Mr Reid had sat down to read a paper on the four day of his holiday, on August 29, when the sunbed almost immediately collapsed and he discovered blood pouring from his right middle finger.

Mr Justice Michael Hanna believed the accident was "eminently foreseeable" and the defendant was liable for the negligence claim under the 1995 Act.

The fact that the lounger was liable to collapse if catching mechanisms on both arm rests were not fully engaged must have been known to staff on the ground, he said.

He was satisfied the accident involving Mr Reid was not the first time such a collapse had happened.   The court was also told that a similar accident had occurred a couple of days earlier to another Irish woman guest at the same hotel.

Mr Reid was treated at a local hospital but his finger was in a splint for around 12 weeks afterwards.

Mr Justice Hanna was satisfied he had ongoing pain with reduced movement in his finger and affecting day to day activities like gardening and DIY.

He awarded him €40,796.

Belfast Telegraph