A woman was injured in a nightclub when part of a punch-bag games machine fell on her foot, a court heard today.

In a claim for severe personal injuries, loss, damages and expenses, Maureen McGrath alleged the former joint directors of The Really Good Company, and O’Grady’s Bar and Club Mission, Newcastle West, Co Limerick, were negligent in locating the punch bag in the nightclub.

The joint director of the Club Mission nightclub, Declan O’Grady, of Kilcoleman Drive, Newcastle West, and Michael Hayes, of Castlemahon, Co Limerick, both denied negligence. The court heard the company had since been wound up after entering into voluntary liquidation. A co-defendant, Liam Lyons, of Farmers Bridge, Tralee, Co Kerry, who the court heard supplied the machine, also denied negligence.

McGrath’s barrister Peter Cline told the court the machine in question “has a punching bag attached to it” which allows people to “punch it” to measure their strength.

Judge Eugene O’Kelly, presiding, rhetorically enquired:

The machine doesn’t punch back does it?

Cline told Limerick Circuit Civil Court that McGrath was “standing beside the machine minding her own business” when another patron in the nightclub began using it. He said the “boxing machine” tilted and began to rock. A “steel footplate” on the machine “came down on the plaintiff and caused a crush injury to her right foot,” Mr Cline claimed.

He said McGrath, a 29-year old childcare worker from Askeaton, Co Limerick, was immediately left in “significant pain” and was taken from the nightclub by ambulance to University Hospital Limerick for treatment.

Cline claimed the machine “should have been placed on a solid surface” as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

This machine should not have been placed in such a location where drink was been served to people at 2am in a smoking area, or in any part of a nightclub.

Judge O’Kelly noted a sticker on the machine described it as “indestructible”.

“It would appear to be a machine that can be rocked about in a nightclub by people testing what they can do to it and what it can do to them,” the judge added.

Later on, all parties agreed to resolve the matter out of court. Striking out the case with an order for the plaintiffs costs, judge O’Kelly said:

I’m very pleased the matter is settled and I congratulate the parties and their legal administrators in agreeing a compromise on what might have been a very difficult case for everybody concerned.