Wednesday 28 September 2016

Two friends walk away from €75k claim after confusion over €10 note 'floating around'

Saurya Cherfi

Published 18/12/2015 | 18:34

Graham O’Brien Photo: Courtpix
Graham O’Brien Photo: Courtpix

TWO Dublin friends, who claimed they were accused by a cashier of not paying for alcohol bottles after a confusion arose out of a €10 note “floating around,” have walked away from their €75,000 damages claims in the Circuit Civil Court.

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The court had heard that Keith Hogg (24) and Graham O’Brien (19) had been in July last year in their local store Joe Flynn Londis, at Middle Gardiner Street, Dublin, buying the items when the incident happened. 

Judge Jacqueline Linnane heard the two friends placed bottles of Smirnoff Ice, worth more than €10, and bottles of Miller beer, worth €10, on the checkout counter. 

The court was told a €10 note was given to the cashier for payment and while he was holding it in his hand, Hogg gave him a €20 note.  The cashier had then given the initial €10 note back to Hogg. 

Barrister Shane English, for the store, said the cashier, after charging for the Miller beers only, handed €10 change back to Hogg.  The court heard that Hogg, of Sean Tracey House, put the note in his pocket.

Mr English said that as the two friends, who sued the store for defamation, were placing their items in paper bags and were about to leave, the cashier told them they had only paid for half of the goods.

O’Brien, of Avondale House, North Cumberland Street, said that he had handed the initial €10 note to his friend to pay for his share and, “honestly believing the items had been paid for”, told the cashier so and asked to be shown CCTV footage of the transaction.

Mr English, who appeared with Kelly and Griffin solicitors on behalf of Allianz Insurance for the store, said that Hogg’s “lucky day” occurred when he got the €10 note back and he took it.

Counsel told O’Brien during cross-examination that he claimed he had been “embarrassed and mortified” and had felt “as low as the ground” when the footage was shown in screens on the shop floor, but “yet your first thoughts were to put the bottles of Smirnoff Ice in a pizza freezer to keep them cool.”

Judge Linnane said when the case started this morning that the confusion arose because of a €10 note “floating around” which had nothing to do with the cashier.  She said that when the friends were handed €10 change, they should have said “no, it’s €20.”

“Whenever they were handed €10 back from the cashier, they should have given it back because at that stage they knew had not paid in full,” the judge said. 

After the court was adjourned for lunch time, Judge Linnane was told that Hogg, who did not give evidence, and O’Brien were both withdrawing their claims.  The Judge struck out the cases and made no order regarding the legal costs. 

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