Friday 28 October 2016

Man who fell over pack of bottles in Dunnes Stores stock room awarded €55k

Published 16/10/2015 | 16:28

Dunnes Stores.
Dunnes Stores.
A letter issued by Dunnes Stores management earlier this year said they will “not enter into direct discussions” with a trade union

A MAN who fell over a pack of bottles in a Dunnes Stores stock room has been awarded €55,000 by the High Court.

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Mr Justice Bernard Barton said he was satisfied that when part-time employee Peter Bowell (28) tripped, the store room was congested.

Mr Bowell, Triog Manor, Green Mill Lane, Portlaoise, Co Laois, sued Dunnes as a result of the accident at the company's Portlaoise  supermarket on February 26, 2010.

He claimed while getting stock in the store room  and carrying a pack of bottles, he fell over another pack of 7UP bottles which had been left on the floor.

He claimed he became wedged between stock on opposing pallets and had to wriggle free. He later discovered he had a hairline fracture to the left third rib.

He had alleged the stock room was congested and there was only a very restricted aisle to walk on.

The claims were denied by Dunnes which contended that, if Mr Bowell had accessed the area in accordance with his training, he should have seen the packet on the floor.

Mr Bowell, a college student, was working part time in the supermarket and stacking shelves.

The judge said he was satisfied he gave truthful evidence in relation to the accident and it occurred in the way, manner and circumstances described by him.

He was satisfied the stock room was congested Dunnes had failed to comply with its own health and safety statement.

However, the judge said, if Mr Bowell had been keeping a proper lookout, he would have seen the pack of bottles on the floor.  He therefore assessed 30 per cent contributory negligence on Mr Bowell's part, giving an award of €55,000.

The judge agreed to grant a stay in the event of an appeal providing 75 per cent of the damages was paid out.

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