A 27-YEAR-OLD waitress, who claimed she injured her back when she slipped and fell on a “huge” spillage of grease and water in a Dunnes Stores kitchen, has been awarded €20,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court.
Karolina Zerner told the court that in April 2010, she had been carrying boxes of bread in Dunnes Stores on Henry Street, Dublin, when she fell heavily on her back.
Zerner claimed there had been at the time “problems” with a dishwasher and a grease trap, causing the floor to be slippery. She had not seen the spillage, which she claimed was spread over several meters.
She told her barrister, Tom Clarke, that the store manager helped her back on her feet. She had carried on with her duties and had attended a GP later that day.
The court today heard that Zerner suffered multiples bruises to her body, and pain in her lower back, lumbar spine and right buttock. She had needed time off work.
Zerner, of Ivry Exchange, Parnell Street, Dublin, claimed she was suffering from ongoing pain in her back. She had not been able to go back to her gym activities since the accident. She sued Dunnes Stores for negligence and breach of duty.
The store had entered a full defence to Zerner’s claim, denying liability and claiming she was guilty of contributory negligence. It claimed the spillage had been vegetable soup, which had leaked from a bin bag and had been on the floor for a short period of time.
Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke said he was satisfied Ms Zerner had not been negligent. Awarding her €20,000 damages, the judge said she was a diligent worker who had continued working despite her back pain.