Former Dunnes Employee Awarded Compensation for a Head Injury at Work

A former Dunnes Stores employee has been awarded €15,000 compensation for a head injury at work after a hearing of the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.

The former employee was nineteen years of age when, in March 2012, she was asked to go into the storeroom of the Dunnes Store in Tallaght Dublin to fetch a trolley loaded with bread. As she starting pushing the two-metre high trolley towards the store floor, the tray on the top shelf fell out and hit the woman on her head.

The woman was knocked to the floor by the impact of the tray and was given first aid by a colleague. She then went to the emergency department of Tallaght Hospital, where no serious injury was detected but she was admitted overnight as a precaution. The woman alleges she still suffers headaches and neck pain as a result of the accident.

The woman claimed compensation for a head injury at work against Dunnes Stores, who accepted liability for her injury but contested how much compensation for a head injury at work she was claiming. A hearing of the personal injury claim was schedule for the Circuit Civil Court for the assessment of damages only.

The hearing took place last week, when Judge Terence O´Sullivan was told that the former employee is now twenty-three years of age and works as a hairdresser. The circumstances of her accident were described to the judge, who also heard both sides argue whether or not she had sustained a “significant injury”.

Counsel representing Dunnes Stores argued that the cause of the former employee´s ongoing neck pain was not her 2012 accident, but her current hairdressing job. Judge O´Sullivan noted that the former employee had not attended her doctor for three years or made any effort to seek physiotherapy, instead relying on painkillers.

Commenting that the woman had done a poor job of looking after herself if she had indeed suffered a significant injury, Judge O´Sullivan said it was the opinion of the court that the former employee “wasn´t that badly hurt”. He awarded her €15,000 compensation for a head injury at work and gave Dunnes Stores leave to appeal the award provided they pay €10,000 to their former employee immediately.