Posted: November 20th, 2016
A Tesco customer, who sustained a fracture to her knee after tripping in her local branch, has been awarded a five-figure settlement of compensation.
The woman, who has remained anonymous throughout proceedings though is known to be a thirty-two-year-old nurse from Dublin, sustained the injury in January 2014. Upon visiting her local Tesco Metro, the woman tripped over a six-pack of beer that had been left aside by a customer waiting in a queue.
An ambulance was called to the scene and the woman was transported to St James’ Hospital, where her leg was x-rayed. The scan revealed that she had fractured her knee, and the woman had to have two surgeries and over two years of physiotherapy to regain use of the leg. The same knee had been injured years earlier and had already undergone reconstructive surgery.
The woman made a claim for personal injury compensation through the Injuries Board Ireland, and after the supermarket denied permission for an assessment of compensation to be conducted at the branch, the Board issued the victim with authorisation to pursue the claim through the courts. Earlier this month the liability hearing was held at the Circuit Civil Court.
Mr Justice Raymond Groarke oversaw proceedings at the hearing. He was informed that Tesco was denying liability for the accident as they believed that the victim was negligent in her actions by tripping over the vibrantly-packaged beer. Tesco’s representatives argued that the staff at the branch could not have done anything to prevent her fall.
The victim’s representatives, however, argued that because of the layout of the shop, the woman was left with no choice but to walk through the queue of people waiting to use the self-checkouts. The judge commented that this disorganised system contributed to the accident, noting that if the “customer traffic” was better managed the accident could have been prevented.
Judge Groarke commented that the nature of the fracture was particularly bad as it was still troubling the claimant nearly three years later. The Circuit Court judge found in the claimant’s favour, awarding her €60,000 in compensation. However, he applied a 20% penalty for her contributory negligence.