London - A grandmother who is suing a tour operator for £50 000 (about R850 000) over a fall on holiday was “staggering drunk” and “wearing silly shoes”, a court was told.
Carole Peters suffered head injuries and a fractured right arm when she slipped on an external staircase at apartments on the Greek island of Santorini.
But she denied she was drunk and said she was “wearing flat sandals” when she toppled 8ft (about 2.4m) on to a concrete patio.
Mrs Peters, 60, said she was fully in control when she and her husband Kim returned to the apartment complex after a meal with friends in June 2011. She is now suing tour giants TUI UK Ltd, with whom they booked the apartment.
The company denies liability, claiming that if anyone is liable it is the apartment’s owners.
In addition, TUI UK says Mrs Peters took excessive risks by drinking too much on her last night in the resort of Perivolos.
Daniel Saxby, for the company, said witnesses “formed the opinion that members of your group were more than slightly intoxicated”.
But Mrs Peters, who lived in Basingstoke, Hampshire, until she retired recently to Torbay, Devon, denied this was the case. “We were laughing when we came back, my husband has a wonderful sense of humour,” she said.
“We gelled very well with the group we were with and we’d had a wonderful holiday. It was our last night together and I don’t have to have a drink to enjoy myself. I’m not a party animal.”
Mr Saxby told Central London County Court that one of the group was “staggering”. But Mrs Peters said: “The emphasis on me being drunk just isn’t true. It was very hot and drink and heat don’t agree with me.”
The barrister said a medic who assessed her injuries after the fall reported that she was “clearly drunk and smelt of alcohol”. Mrs Peters replied: “That’s not correct.”
She was also questioned about whether her shoes amounted to “inappropriate heeled footwear”.
Mr Saxby claimed Mrs Peters was herself heard to blame her “stupid shoes” soon after the fall, again denied by the holidaymaker, who said she was wearing flat sandals.
The accident resulted in multiple fractures to her right arm, head injuries and extensive bruising. Mrs Peters also suffered a “psychological reaction to the accident and her injuries in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression”, the court was told.
Movement in her right shoulder is now restricted and she finds it hard to use her right hand for everyday tasks such as opening jars.
Matthew Chapman, for Mrs Peters, said: “Gardening and playing with grandchildren are impossible and difficult respectively.”
He argued that the exposed stairway posed an unacceptable hazard that should have been made safe.
The hearing continues.