Pensioner Awarded Compensation for a Trip and Fall in Dunnes Stores
A seventy-seven year old pensioner has been awarded €137,000 compensation for a trip and fall in Dunnes Stores at the High Court in Cork.
Bernadette O´Leary´s accident happened on 2nd July 2013 while she was shopping at her local Dunnes Store in Clonakilty in Cork. Bernadette was looking for a waterproof canopy in the store that would protect her stall from the rain at the weekly farmers market where she sold homemade cakes.
Bernadette found a gazebo in the store that she thought might be suitable and she asked a shop assistant whether or not the gazebo was waterproof. The shop assistant did not know, but said he would find out and asked Bernadette to follow him.
As Bernadette followed the shop assistant into the next aisle, she tripped over a fold-up deckchair that had been left on the floor waiting to be placed on a display shelf. Bernadette broke her hip when she fell and was taken to hospital by ambulance.
When she had recovered sufficiently to be allowed home, Bernadette made a claim for compensation for a trip and fall in Dunnes Stores – alleging that the fold-up deckchair left in the aisle presented the risk of a trip and fall injury and was contrary to Dunnes Stores´ own safety policy.
The company denied liability for Bernadette´s broken hip and argued that she was not entitled to compensation for a trip and fall in Dunnes Store because she should have taken more care when she entered the aisle and looked where she was going.
Because of the denial of liability, the Injuries Board was unable to assess Bernadette´s claim, and she was issue with an “Authorisation” to pursue compensation for a trip and fall in Dunnes Store in court. The case was heard at the High Court in Cork this week by Mr Justice Henry Abbot
Judge Abbot was shown a CCTV video of Bernadette´s accident and agreed with Bernadette´s counsel, who said “the defendant had invited the plaintiff into the path of a hazard on which she fell and was injured”. The judge found in Bernadette´s favour and awarded her €137,000 compensation for a trip and fall in Dunnes Stores.