Posted: January 19th, 2016
The Circuit Civil Court has approved two settlements of compensation for young sisters that were caught up in a fake armed robbery.
The incident occurred in Dundrum Shopping Centre in March 2013, when Abbie and Casie Kennedy (aged eleven and eight respectively) were shopping in H&M with their mother. Whilst in the changing rooms, they heard voices shouting at staff in the clothes shop, swearing and ordering them to the ground.
The family remained in the changing rooms, entirely unaware that the scene they were hearing was entirely staged as part of a training exercise for staff. The family remained in the room until the shouting stopped, at which point the girls’ mother, Claudia, tried to look outside of the door. However, she could not see anything and told her daughters to stay put until she could hear other voices.
Eventually, the family exited the room, at which point Claudia questioned the manager as to what had happened. She was furious that nobody had thought to check for customers in the changing rooms, and as such rang the head office in England with her complaint.
However, the retailer were unsympathetic and offered a curt apology with a €30 voucher. Unsatisfied, Claudia made a claim for compensation for the trauma she and her daughters endured against H&M Hennes &Mauritz (Ireland) Ltd, claiming that she and her daughters feared for their lives.
H&M Hennes &Mauritz (Ireland) Ltd made an offer of compensation to each of Claudia’s daughters, offering €8,000 to Casie and €10,000 to Abbie. Judge Rory MacCable oversaw proceedings when the case progressed to the Circuit Civil Court, where he heard that the family were happy to accept the offer.