A nurse’s claim for personal injury compensation against Tesco Supermarkets has been settled by the Circuit Court in Dublin.
The accident occurred in January 2014 after a thirty-two-year-old nurse, whose anonymity has been preserved throughout proceedings, fell over an obstruction in her local branch of Tesco Metro. The obstruction – a six-pack of beer- had been left on the floor by a customer waiting to use the self-service checkouts.
The fall caused substantial damage to the woman’s knee, which had previously undergone reconstructive surgery. After an ambulance took the nurse to St James’ Hospital, an x-ray showed that the same knee had been fractured again. Two surgeries and three years of physiotherapy later, the woman still suffers from pains around the area of the fracture.
The woman consulted a personal injuries solicitor and proceeded to make a claim against Tesco for her fall. However, the supermarket denied permission to the Injuries Board for an assessment to take place and as such the woman was granted permission to pursue her claim through the courts.
Earlier this month, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard details of the case at the Circuit Court in Dublin. He was informed that Tesco were continuing to deny liability for the injury, claiming that by failing to avoid the brightly-coloured box of beer, the woman had caused her own fractured knee. They added that there was nothing they could have done to prevent the injury.
Representatives for the claimant argued that the woman was forced to go through the queue of people, as the cramped layout of the supermarket made it unavoidable if she wanted to access certain parts of the store. The judge noted that this was a bad design, commenting that if the “customer traffic” of the supermarket had been managed better, the woman’s injury may never have occurred.
Adding that the woman’s knee injury must have been severe to still cause her trouble, Judge Groarke found in the claimant’s favour. Initially awarding a sum of €60,000, 20% was then deducted for contributory negligence.