A former employee of Argos has been awarded €25,000 injury compensation for a storeroom accident in which she fell from a ladder and dislocated her wrist.
Nicola Starmer from Ballynakill Downs in Waterford was working at the Great George´s Street branch of Argos when, in February 2007, she went into the shop´s storeroom to collect a customer´s purchase.
As the box she needed to collect was located on a high shelf, Nicola (42) climbed a ladder in order to retrieve it. However, as Nicola was descending the ladder with the box under her arm, she fell backwards and landed on the storeroom floor.
Nicola was at first unaware that she had sustained an injury, but as the day progressed she started to experience a pain in her right forearm. She attended the Emergency department of the local hospital where she had an x-ray which revealed a dislocated wrist.
Doctors had to insert pins into Nicola´s wrist to stabilise the injury and Nicola was discharged from hospital in plaster cast. Unfortunately Nicola was unable to continue her temporary position as a front-of-house assistant in Argos because of her injury.
Nicola spoke with a solicitor about the circumstances of her injury and made a claim for injury compensation for a storeroom accident against Argos. The store contested its liability for Nicola´s injuries and the claim was heard before Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court.
At the hearing, Argos argued that Nicola had been shown how to use a ladder safely and that the company should not be held responsible for her injuries. However, Nicola´s solicitor informed the judge that the ladder safety training consisted of a DVD presentation rather than a practical demonstration and, furthermore, that she had never been informed of safety procedures in the storeroom as her position was front-of-house.
Judge Groarke found in Nicola´s favour after hearing that she had only attempted to collect the goods because the store was short-staffed and there was nobody else available to serve the customer. He awarded her €25,000 injury compensation for a storeroom accident against the Argos store in Waterford.