Saturday 1 October 2016

Woman (36) who claimed she was called a 'liar' by supermarket cashier loses €75,000 damages claim

Saurya Cherfi

Published 10/06/2016 | 13:22

Lidl has announced plans to open another 20 stores by the end of the year
Lidl has announced plans to open another 20 stores by the end of the year

A 36-year-old student, who claimed she was called a liar by a cashier after she was given wrong change, has lost a €75,000 damages claim for defamation in the Circuit Civil Court.

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Solange Bakonsa told the court that in May 2015, she had bought items worth €5.62 at Lidl, Whitestown Way, Tallaght, Dublin and had given the cashier €21, to get €15.38 back.

Judge Karen Fergus heard the cashier, Margaret Kieley, had given Bakonsa 38 cents change, leaving her short of €15.  Bakonsa claimed that Kieley called her a liar when she told her she had been given the wrong change. 

Kieley today told barrister Conor Kearney, counsel for Lidl, that she never called Ms Bakonsa a liar.  She said she had initially thought that she had given her the right change but had then told her that the matter would be investigated straightaway. 

Mr Kearney said that Ms Bakonsa then called her husband, who later came to the shop and was very aggressive towards the cashier, calling her a “fucking bitch.” 

 Store manager Syed Hussain said that after counting Kieley’s till, they realised she had given the wrong change.  Hussain had apologised to Ms Bakonsa, giving her the missing €15. 

Ms Bakonsa, of Russell Crescent, Russell Square, Tallaght, claimed she had been embarrassed and ashamed in front of customers.  She sued Lidl Supermarkets GmbH, Great Connell Road, Newbridge, Co Kildare. 

Mr Kearney, who appeared with Mason Hayes & Curran solicitors, told the court that Ms Bakonsa had refused to fill in a customer complaint form and had told Hussain that she would instruct her solicitor. 

 Judge Fergus, dismissing Bakonsa’s claim and awarding legal costs against her, said she was satisfied that Kieley, an experienced cashier, would not have boldly called her a liar. 

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