Woman Settles with Marks and Spencer after Alleged ‘Superman’ fall in Aisle

A personal injury compensation action has been settled in the High Court Marks and Spencer (Ireland) and a woman who claims she  fractured her leg when a Marks and Spencer staff member came off a step ladder and knocked her over.

Loretta McSherry (64) Cremore, Templeogue, Dublin told the High Court that she was in the Marks and Spencer branch located at Dundrum Shopping Centre to purchase some ready made meals. When she was walking through the bakery section the accident occurred.

She said: “I looked at some scones but thought they looked stale and decided not to buy. I gave the step ladder a wide berth, I was not aware of anybody on the ladder. I was struck in the shoulder as I walked past. It was like my Superman moment, I flew forward.”

Ms McSherry informed the Judge that the pain she experienced was the worst she had ever suffered and resulted in her rolling along the ground. The physicians that treated her said that she had fractured her thigh bone in a manner consistent with a high-speed car accident.

Ms McSherry, an IT systems analyst, had taken the personal injury compensation action against Marks and Spencer (Ireland) Ltd, with offices at Mary Street, Dublin due to the accident that occurred on January 4, 2014 at the Dundrum Shopping Centre branch.

She alleged that Mark and Spencer staff had not made sure that the shopping aisle was safe for the use of customers and an alleged failure to have any regard for her safety had also taken place. She went on to say that a Marks and Spencer employee was allegedly allowed to use a step ladder for restocking without any help. Finally, she said there was a failure to cordon off or prevent customers from coming in close proximity with the step ladder in question.

Marks and Spencer refuted the allegations and contended there was contributory negligence on Ms McSherry’s part for allegedly failing pay adequate attention to her surroundings.


Claim for Being Stuck in a Shopping Centre Lift Resolved at Court

A claim for being stuck in a shopping centre lift has been resolved at a High Court hearing with an award of €25,060 psychological injuries compensation.

In August 2012, fifty-four year old Marie Dicker was shopping at the Square in Tallaght, Dublin, when she and her son took the shopping centre lift down to the ground floor. However, soon after the lift started to descend, it stopped – trapping Marie and her son inside.

Marie pressed the elevator alarm button, but was unable to communicate with anyone via the intercom. She then started banging on the lift doors and calling for help and, several minutes later, the couple were rescued by a security guard who was able to prise the doors open and release the trapped shoppers.

Despite being trapped inside the lift for less than five minutes, Marie unfortunately suffered a recurrence of childhood claustrophobia. Due to feeling unsafe in rooms with closed doors, Marie sought professional medical help and was diagnosed with depression and an anxiety disorder by a psychologist.

After starting treatment for her psychological injuries, Marie – a department store supervisor from Walkinstown in Dublin – sought legal advice. She subsequently made a compensation claim for being stuck in a shopping centre lift against Square Management Ltd and Pickering Lifts Ltd.

Both defendants acknowledged that Marie had suffered an avoidable injury due to the failure of the lift, but they disputed how much compensation Marie was claiming. They presented evidence from an independent psychologist who had examined Marie and failed to find any evidence of an anxiety disorder.

The claim for being stuck in a shopping centre lift went to the High Court in Dublin for the assessment of damages. At the hearing, Mr Justice Anthony Barr was told that Marie was undergoing cognitive behavioural therapy to deal with her claustrophobia and was responding well to the program. The treatment is expected to continue for twelve to eighteen months.

After hearing the evidence, Judge Barr commented he was satisfied that Marie had suffered a psychiatric injury as a direct result of the incident at the Square, and he awarded her €25,060 compensation in settlement of her claim for being stuck in a shopping centre lift.


Judge Awards Maximum Circuit Civil Court Compensation to Pensioner

A pensioner has been awarded the maximum possible Civil Circuit Court compensation for an injury she sustained in a pallet trolley accident at Dunnes Stores.

In the summer of 2014, Christina O´Reilly (88) from Dublin was shopping at Dunnes Stores in the city´s Northside Shopping Centre, when an employee of the store accidently pushed a pallet trolley into her back due to the trolley being stacked above eye level.

Although Christina was not knocked to the floor, the accident aggravated an existing back condition – leaving the pensioner in constant pain and now unable to take part in many of the social pursuits she previously enjoyed.

Christina made a claim for injury compensation against Dunnes Stores. However the store declined to consent to an Injuries Board assessment and Christina was issued with an authorisation to seek Circuit Civil Court compensation. The hearing recently went ahead after a long delay caused by Dunnes Stores compiling its defence.

At the hearing, Judge Jacqueline Linnane heard that Dunnes Stores was willing to admit liability for Christina´s injury. In assessing the amount of Circuit Civil court compensation Christina was entitled to, the judge heard from members of her family, who testified that Christina was now unable to do her own shopping and relied on the family for support.

Judge Linnane awarded Christina the maximum amount of Circuit Civil Court compensation possible – €60,000 – allowing a stay on the award subject to an appeal. As a condition of the stay, Judge Linnane stipulated that Dunnes Stores should pay Christina €45,000 compensation immediately and decide upon an appeal quickly because of Christina´s age.

The maximum Circuit Civil Court compensation award for personal injury was increased in 2014 to €60,000 from €38,092 to relieve the pressure on the number of cases being heard by the High Court. The change was also intended to resolve personal injury claims in a shorter timeframe when a resolution could not be found through the Injuries Board process.


Compensation for Emotional Shock during a Mock Armed Robbery Approved by Judge

Two settlements of compensation for emotional shock during a mock armed robbery have been approved by a judge at the Circuit Civil Court.

Eight-year-old Casie and eleven-year-old Abbie Kennedy were shopping with their mother in the Dundrum Shopping Centre in March 2013, when they heard a man swearing at the staff in the H&M shop – ordering them to open the till and get on the ground.

Trapped in the shop´s changing room, and unaware that they were witnessing part of a training exercise, Claudia and her terrified daughters stayed in the changing room until the shouting stopped. Only then did Claudia look outside the door of the changing room; but, unable to see anything, she kept the girls in the changing room until she could hear voices in the shop.

Claudia escorted the sisters into the store and asked the manager what had happened. Angry that nobody had thought to check for the presence of customers in the changing room before staging the mock armed robbery, Claudia rang the H&M head office in England to complain.

Unhappy with a curt apology and the offer of a €30 voucher, Claudia claimed compensation for emotional shock during a mock armed robbery on behalf of her daughters. In her legal action against H&M Hennes &Mauritz (Ireland) Ltd, Claudia alleged that Casie and Abbie had feared for their lives and the life of their mother during the incident.

H&M Hennes &Mauritz (Ireland) Ltd made offers of compensation for emotional shock during a mock armed robbery to Casie (€8,000) and Abbie (€10,000). At the Circuit Civil Court, Judge Rory MacCabe heard the family was willing to accept the offers and, after hearing that Casie and Abbie continued to suffer nightmares as a result of their experience, the judge approved the settlements.


Judge Awards Compensation for a Slip on a Potato Wedge in Dunnes

A judge has awarded an injured shopper €22,900 compensation for a slip on a potato wedge in Dunnes following a hearing at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.

In November 2011, sixty-year old housewife Anna Manning from Clondalkin in Dublin was entering the fish section of her local Dunnes Stores, when she slipped on a potato wedge that had been left on the floor following an earlier spill and fell onto the shop floor.

Anna landed on her hands and knees, but the following day attended her GP for treatment to pains that had developed in her back and neck. Anna also sought legal advice and claimed compensation for a slip on a potato wedge in Dunnes.

Dunnes Stores refused its consent for Anna´s claim to be assessed by the Injuries Board and she was issued with an Authorisation to pursue her claim in court. The claim for compensation for a slip on a potato wedge in Dunnes was recently heard by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court.

At the hearing Judge Groarke was told that Anna´s slip and fall had aggravated an existing condition, and that she had also sustained a wrist injury that was having a negative effect on her quality of life. Dunnes Stores contested Anna´s claim, and argued that she had contributed to her injuries by her own lack of care.

Judge Groarke dismissed Dunne´s argument of contributory negligence and found in Anna´s favour. The judge commented that Anna was a “very poor candidate” to fabricate her story considering her previous medical history and he considered Dunnes Stores to have been negligent for failing to thoroughly clean up the previous spill.

Judge Groarke awarded Anna €22,900 compensation for a slip on a potato wedge in Dunnes, adding on the balance of probabilities that the potato wedge on which Anna had slipped had likely been a “brother or sister” of the wedges that had been spilled earlier in the day.


Court Rules in Favour of Dunnes Worker Injury Compensation Claim

The High Court has ruled in favour of a Dunnes worker injury compensation claim and increased the settlement of compensation set by the Circuit Court.

On June 6th 2011, Anthony Fitzsimons (25) from Finglas in Dublin – an employee of Dunnes Stores – suffered an injury to his left foot when he attempted to lift a stack of empty crates at the branch situated in the Charlestown Shopping Centre in Finglas.

The injury meant that Anthony was unable to work for 3½ months and, after seeking legal advice, he made a Dunnes worker injury compensation claim on the grounds that there was only a few millimetres of grip available to lift the plastic crates when they were stacked one on top of the other.

Dunnes Stores denied liability for Anthony´s injury, and – after the Injuries Board had issued Anthony with an Authorisation to pursue his claim in court – the Circuit Court found that the accident could have been foreseen and awarded Anthony €8,035 compensation after attributing him with 50% contributory negligence.

The company appealed the decision, and the Dunnes worker injury compensation claim was heard again by Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns at the High Court. Judge Kearns upheld the decision of the Circuit Court, saying in his verdict that Dunnes Stores should have provided Anthony with instructions of the maximum number of crates that could be lifted safely.

The judge also increased the settlement of Anthony´s Dunnes worker injury compensation claim from €8,035 to €11,070 – saying that the injury Anthony had suffered was “nasty” and that the revised settlement was more appropriate to the level of injury that Anthony had suffered.


Judge: More Compensation for Shop Accident Injuries

A judge has refused the approval of a personal injury claim made on behalf of a child, saying that she should get more compensation for shop accident injuries.

Shauna Kelly from Ballyfermot in Dublin was fourteen years of age when she was browsing through the electronic books section of Eason´s in Lower O´Connell Street in July 2012. As she studied the book titles on the shelf, an electronic display frame fell from its mountings above her and hit Shauna on the head and on her right wrist.

At the Crumlin Children´s Hospital in Dublin, x-rays revealed that no bones in Shauna´s head or arm had been fractured. Shauna was treated for soft tissue injuries to her neck and lower back, and diagnosed with concussion. A splint was placed around her wrist to give it support while further soft tissue injuries healed.

On Shauna´s behalf, a claim for compensation for shop accident injuries was made by her mother against Eason´s and David James Retail Solutions Ltd of Edenderry in County Offaly – the company that had installed the electronic display frame.

During negotiations between the parties to agree on how much compensation for shop accident injuries Shauna´s claim should be settled for, an offer of €13,500 was made to Shauna´s mother – Kathy Maher. As Shauna is still a legal minor, the offer of settlement had to be approved by a judge before it could be accepted.

Therefore, at the Circuit Civil Court, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told about the circumstances of the accident and that Shauna suffered from severe headaches for six months. He was also told that Shauna still suffers from stiffness in her back more than two and a half years after her accident.

The barrister representing Shauna told Judge Groarke that an offer of €13,500 compensation for shop accident injuries had been made, but that he did not believe that €13,500 was sufficient to compensate Shauna for her injuries and recommended that the offer should not be approved.

Judge Groarke agreed with Shauna´s barrister and declined to approve the offer of settlement. He said it would be more appropriate to award compensation for shop accident injuries after a full hearing of the case, and adjourned the hearing for date to be scheduled for the Circuit Civil Court later this year.


Girl Awarded Compensation for Slip and Fall in Tesco

A nine-year-old schoolgirl, who was left with a permanent scar after she slipped and banged her head against a supermarket freezer, has been awarded €18,000 compensation for a slip and fall in Tesco.

Angela Prendergast was only six years of age when – in September 2010 – she was shopping with her mother at the Tesco Express Supermarket in Kilcoole, County Wicklow. As Angela and her mother were walking along the frozen food section, Angela slipped on a wet floor surface and banged her head against a steel freezer as she fell.

Although she was given First Aid by a member of Tesco´s staff, Angela´s mother – Ann Prendergast from Kilcoole in County Wicklow – took her to the local hospital, where the wound was cleaned and stitched with glue. Angela still has a two centimetre scar on the right side of her forehead to act as a permanent reminder of the accident.

On her daughter´s behalf, Ann Prendergast made a claim for injury compensation for a slip and fall in Tesco against Tesco Ireland Ltd. Tesco admitted that the negligence of their staff had been a contributory factor in the floor being slippery, and a settlement of €18,000 was negotiated between solicitors representing the two parties.

As the claim for Tesco slip and fall injury compensation had been made on behalf of a child, the settlement of compensation had to be approved before a judge before Angela´s case could be closed; and therefore the circumstances of Angela´s accident were related to Mr Justice Matthew Deery at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.

After hearing how Angela had banged her head, and seeing the scar that the little girl had been left with, Judge Deery approved the settlement of compensation for a slip and fall in Tesco, which will now be paid into court funds until Angela reaches the age of eighteen.


Compensation Approved for Cut Finger in Shop Accident

A young schoolgirl has had a compensation settlement approved in court for an injury she sustained when she cut her finger in a shop accident.

Naoise Walsh was just six years of age when, in March 2011, she attempted to remove a drink carton from a fridge in the café of the Debenhams store in Henry Street, Dublin.

As she took the drink carton from the fridge, Naoise´s finger caught on the metal grill of the shelf and she suffered a severe laceration.

Bleeding profusely, Naoise was taken by ambulance to the Temple Street Children’s Hospital, in Dublin, where the wound was dressed.

Naoise returned to the hospital the following day for an examination of the finger injury under a general anaesthetic; but no tendon damage was found, the wound was stitched, and Naoise was discharged from hospital the same day.

Through her mother – Amy Walsh of Bluebell, Dublin – Amy made a compensation claim for a cut finger in a shop accident against the Debenhams store in Henry Street, who admitted liability for Naoise´s injury and offered €10,000 compensation.

As is required when a compensation settlement is agreed for a child, the settlement first has to be approved by a judge and – at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin – Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard the circumstances of Naoise´s injury.

The judge approved the settlement of compensation for a cut finger in a shop accident and closed the case.


Woman Awarded Compensation for Fall on Moving Walkway

A woman who caught the heel of her shoe in a hole on a travelator in a Dublin shopping centre has been awarded €13.150 in compensation for a fall on a moving walkway after a hearing at the Circuit Civil Court.

Nuala Holloway Casey (60) from Blackrock in Dublin brought her action against Secret Retail Holdings (trading as Superquinn Shopping Centre) and Kine (Ireland) Limited, travelator and escalator fitters, of Ballymount, County Dublin, after suffering an ankle injury at the Superquinn Shopping Centre in December 2007.

Judge Barry Hickson in the Circuit Civil Court heard that on December 21st 2007, Nuala had caught the high heel of her shoe in a hole at the entrance to a descending moving walkway and fallen heavily – damaging her left ankle. Nuala told the court that she still suffered pain in the ankle and had been forced to give up playing tennis because of the injury.

The court also heard that liability for the injury had been admitted by the joint defendants but how much compensation for a fall on a moving walkway Nuala should receive was in dispute as Nuala had failed to visit her doctor for 10 days after the accident and exacerbated her injury by a separate fall in 2009.

After reviewing the medical evidence in support of Nuala´s claim, Judge Hickson awarded the former Miss Ireland €12,000 compensation for the fall on the moving walkway plus an additional €1,250 to account for the expenses she had incurred which were directly attributable to her accident.


Compensation Claim for Accident in Newsagents Settled in Court

A woman, who suffered facial injuries when she walked into a shop shutter, has had her compensation claim for an accident in a newsagents settled at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.

Yvonne McEvoy (42) from Clondalkin, Dublin, had been shopping in Tuthill´s Newsagents in the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre when, in October 2010, she was distracted by a Halloween display as she was leaving the shop and walked into a partly closed shutter.

The shutter, Judge Jacqueline Linnane at the Circuit Civil Court was told, was often partly closed as the shop was about to shut to dissuade new customers from entering, but Yvonne failed to hear the warning shouted to her by a shop assistant and walked straight into it – sustaining an injury to the left side of her face.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane heard from forensic engineer Alan Conlon that CCTV video of the incident showed a previous customer ducking underneath the shutter as he left the shop, but that Yvonne was looking to her right as she walked towards the exit. The judge also heard that Yvonne had fallen pregnant in 2011 and was unable to take painkillers to ease the pain.

Finding Tuthill´s Newsagents negligent by lowering the shutter while there were still customers in the shop, Judge Jacqueline Linnane found in favour of Yvonne and awarded her 17,500 Euros in settlement of her compensation claim for an accident in a newsagents.


Pensioner Awarded Compensation for Shopping Trolley Injury

A seventy-nine year old woman, who sustained a broken shoulder after the shopping trolley she was taking down a shopping centre travelator ran away from her, has been awarded 30,000 compensation for shopping trolley injury at the Circuit Civil Court.

Rosaleen Hill from Terenure in Dublin had been returning the shopping trolley to the underground car park of the Ashleaf Shopping Centre when the accident occurred in March 2009. Having completed her shopping in Dunnes Stores, Rosaleen took the downward travelator to the car park, at which point the shopping trolley started to roll away from her. Rosaleen attempted to hold on to her shopping but in her efforts fell to the ground and was dragged along the travelator surface.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane at the Circuit Civil Court heard that Jacqueline sustained a broken right should in three places and a lacerated knee. She also heard that Rosaleen had made a claim for shopping trolley injury compensation against the owners of the shopping centre, the management company and Dunnes Stores; but Dunnes Stores had denied their liability, claiming that the trolley responsible for Rosaleen´s injury was not one of theirs.

The judge heard testimony from a forensic engineer and a representative of the company that supplied Dunnes Stores with its shopping trolleys which confirmed the store´s claims that the shopping trolley was not one of theirs. The court heard that the shopping trolley had smooth wheels rather than the corrugated rubber ones which lock into the grooves on the travelator surface and that the rogue trolley had possibly been left in the common shopping trolley area by shopfitters who had been working in the shopping centre of the day of Rosaleen´s accident.

Finding Gary Smith, trading as The Ashleaf Shopping Centre and Kessow Limited – the management company responsible for health and safety at the shopping centre – jointly liable for Rosaleen´s injuries, Judge Jacqueline Linnane ordered that Rosaleen should be awarded 30,000 Euros in compensation for the shopping trolley injury.


Compensation for Fall in Argos Awarded in Court

A man, who slipped and fell on a discarded wet wipe in Argos, injuring his shoulder in the process, has been awarded 17,500 Euros compensation for a fall in Argos at Dublin´s Circuit Civil Court.

Declan Conroy from Dublin had been shopping in the Ilac Centre branch of Argos in Henry Street in May 2008 when the accident happened. While in the queue for the counter to order his mother a lawnmower, he slipped on a wet wipe which had fallen on the floor and fell – severely damaging his shoulder.

After receiving medical treatment, Declan made an injury compensation claim for a fall in Argos against the store – alleging that their method of checking the floor for potential hazards was lacking and he had suffered an injury as a consequence.

Argos denied liability for Declan´s shoulder injury; contending that CCTV footage revealed the presence of the wet wipe just six minutes before Declan´s accident and insisting that staff could not be required to constantly monitor the condition of the floor surface in such a historically low-risk store.

However, a forensic engineer – testifying on Declan´s behalf – explained in court that, due to the extra footfall in the queuing area where Declan´s accident occurred, a higher level of attention should be applied. It was also revealed that five minutes before the wet wipe first appeared on camera, CCTV footage showed a woman pushing a baby buggy through the area.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane at the Circuit Civil Court decided that, on the balance of probabilities, it was the woman with the baby buggy who was responsible for discarding the wet wipe and, as more than ten minutes would have elapsed between the slipping hazard being present and Declan sustaining his injury, Argos was liable.  Declan was awarded 17,500 Euros compensation for a fall in Argos plus costs.


Injury Compensation for Dangerous Shop Display Approved

A County Wicklow schoolgirl, who sustained cuts and abrasions after catching her leg on a faulty cake display in Dunnes Stores, is to receive 21,000 Euros in compensation after her injury compensation for dangerous shop display settlement was approved in court.

Jade Earls (11) from Bray in County Wicklow had been shopping with her mother in the Dunnes Stores at Cornelscourt in Dublin when the accident happened in July 2010. As Jade passed by a stand displaying cakes, she snagged her leg on some rusty nails which were protruding from the support for the stand.

Judge Alan Mahon at Dublin´s Circuit Civil Court heard that Jade sustained a 10 centimetre abrasion and a four centimetre laceration in the accident and, although both had healed successfully, Jade had been left with a permanent scar on her left leg.

After seeking legal advice, Jade made a claim for dangerous shop display injury compensation against Dunnes Stores and ABF Grain Products, Grosvenor Street, London, through her mother – Fidelma. The court heard that the two defendants had accepted liability on a 60&40 basis and that an offer of compensation had been made.

Judge Mahon heard that the offer of injury compensation for dangerous shop display amounted to 12,000 Euros plus costs and, as the family were prepared to accept the offer, he approved the settlement.


Child Awarded Compensation Following Shopping Centre Accident

Mr Justice Matthew Deery of the Circuit Civil Court has approved a €10,000 settlement for a seven-year-old girl for a small scar from an injury sustained at a shopping centre when she was three years old.

Jasmine D’Arcy Sweeney of Athy, County Kildare,  was accidently hit on her right eyebrow by a store detective’s walkie-talkie in the Liffey Valley shopping centre on December 7th, 2006.  The accident occurred because the security guard was allegedly not paying attention and knocked over then then three-year-old child.

The child was left with a faint 1cm scar and a slight hair loss on her eyebrow, none of which are noticable under normal circumstances. The minor scar was also unlikely to be noticeable in adulthood.

Because Jasmine D’Arcy Sweeney is a minor, the child injury claim was taken by her mother acting as “next friend” against Chubb Ireland Limited of Stillorgan Industrial Park, County Dublin.