Posted: July 11th, 2015
A seventy year-old woman has been awarded a six-figure settlement of compensation after she injured herself in the local Dunnes Stores.
On the 2nd July 2013, Bernadette O’Leary went to her local branch of Dunnes Stores to buy a waterproof canopy, which she would then use to protect her stall at the local market where she sold food products.
After searching the shop, Bernadette found a small gazebo. However, she was unsure whether or not it was waterproof, and asked an employee for assistance. However, the assistant she asked was also unsure. He asked Bernadette to follow him through the store as he found a colleague to consult.
However, as Bernadette followed the shop assistant, she fell to the ground after tripping over a deckchair that had been removed from its packaging. This was done so that the deckchair could be put on display, but in the interim it was left aside.
Bernadette was taken to hospital in an ambulance, but had to wait on a trolley for over forty-eight hours as there was no available bed. Eventually, she was treated for a broken hip. Upon her discharge, Bernadette sought legal counsel before making a claim for shop injury compensation against Dunnes Stores.
In her legal action, Bernadette alleged that Dunnes Stores were negligent by leaving the deckchair out in an aisle, as it posed a serious trip hazard. However, this was contested by the retailer, who argued that Bernadette should have been more cautious.
As liability was contested, Bernadette was issued with authorisation by the Injuries Board to pursue her claim in court. As such, the case was heard earlier this week in Cork’s High Court by Mr Justice Henry Abbot.
During the hearing, CCTV footage of Bernadette’s fall was presented to the judge. Considering this, and other evidence, he ruled that “the defendant had invited the plaintiff into the path of a hazard on which she fell and was injured”. He then proceeded to award Bernadette €137,000 for her injuries.
Categories: Shop Accidents