Woman gets €7,500 over petrol station defamation
A woman who claimed she and her husband were accused of planning to 'do a runner' after filling up at a petrol station has been awarded €7,500 in damages for defamation of character.
Lauren Cannon (25), who is now married to her then partner and fellow claimant Ian Kavanagh, said that in April 2013 they had called to the Texaco Petrol Station and Spar shop at Coolquay, The Ward, north Co Dublin, for a fuel re-fill.
She told her barrister Matthew Jolley how, after Mr Kavanagh put petrol in their car, a supervisor blocked him from re-entering the driver's door and said: "You were not going to pay, you pay for petrol now."
She got out of the front passenger seat to go into the shop to pay and the supervisor followed her and stood beside her in the queue until she paid.
Mr Jolley told Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, it was always Ms Kavanagh's intention to leave the car and pay for the fuel once Ian informed her of the amount.
Ms Kavanagh, formerly of Killegland Meadow, Newtown, Ashbourne, Co Meath, told the court the couple are now living in Co Mayo.
She said that as she had stood in the queue to pay she asked the supervisor what was the problem and he said: "Yous were not going to pay."
Judge Groarke said the supervisor had "defamed Ms Kavanagh in circumstances for which there was no defence available". He told counsel for Claremont Enterprises Limited, which trades as Claremont Filling Station and Spar, Coolquay, he was dismissing Mr Kavanagh's claim for defamation, with no order as to costs, but would award Ms Kavanagh €7,500 damages together with her legal costs.