Monday 5 December 2016

Young shop manager awarded €47k after injuring knee in water slip

Tim Healy

Published 09/11/2016 | 17:49

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

A young woman who was working as a Dublin shop manager when she suffered a knee injury after slipping on some water on the floor of the premises has been awarded some €47,000 damages by the High Court.

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Mr Justice Anthony Barr made the award to Ligia Pop against C. Morton & Sons Ltd over the accident at the defendant's shop in Ranelagh on August 9th 2012.

Liability was admitted, no claim of contributory negligence was advanced and the judge's task was to assess damages.

Ms Pop (29), a mother of one and native of Romania, had worked for the defendant since 2008, first as shop assistant and later as manager. The accident happened when she slipped on some water on the floor of the premises while pushing a trolley with some goods in it past a sink. 

Her foot shot forward and, while she did not strike her leg against anything and did not fall because she had the trolley to hold onto, the evidence was she felt immediate pain and suffered an injury to her left knee, the judge said.

The injury was initially treated conservatively with an ice pack, followed by physiotherapy. She was unfit for work for two weeks and returned to work still on crutches and experiencing knee pain.

She later came under the care of consultant surgeon Dr Gary O'Toole who carried out an arthroscopy procedure on November 19th 2012 which revealed a tear in the medial meniscus and partial tear of the anterior cruciate ligament.  She underwent more physiotherapy.

She wanted to get back to work in a managerial role in a supermarket in early 2013 but felt unable to do so because, due to continuing knee pain, she felt she would be unable to stand on her feet for long periods. 

She instead took up employment as a secretary in a taxi company.

The judge said she told the court about further pain and swelling of her knee when pregnant in 2013 and of difficulties minding her young son in 2014. She also gave honest evidence of attempts to resume running and other activity and had candidly stated, following a second arthroscopy carried out in Romania last April, she has made a full recovery and is running a coffee shop.

There was no great dispute between the medical experts over the initial injury and the issue was whether the continued symptoms until the second arthroscopy in 2016 were due to the August 2012 accident. It was reasonable to conclude they were, the judge held.

On the basis of guidelines on damages set down by the Court of Appeal and in the Injuries Board Book of Quantum, he awarded general damages of €45,000, plus agreed special damages of €2,200, making a total award of €47,200.

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