Sunday 18 February 2018

Dunnes Stores worker who hurt ankle after slipping on olive oil awarded €12.5k

Dunnes Stores at Kilnamanagh Shopping Centre. Picture: Google Maps
Dunnes Stores at Kilnamanagh Shopping Centre. Picture: Google Maps

Saurya Cherfi

A 62-year-old store assistant, who injured her ankle when she slipped and fell on olive oil while working in a Dunnes store, has been awarded €12,500 damages in the Circuit Civil Court.

Bernardine Tuite told the court that on April 24, 2014, she had been going on her lunch break at Dunnes Stores, Kilnamanagh Shopping Centre, Kilnamanagh, Dublin, when she suddenly slipped and fell.

Ms Tuite said she fell heavily and immediately felt pain in her ankle.  While she was lying on the floor and while being assisted by colleagues she had noticed a four-inch spot of olive oil on the floor where she had slipped.

She told her barrister, Conor Cahill, that she later attended a VHI clinic where X-rays revealed no fracture in her ankle.  It had been swollen and she needed to keep it strapped and elevated for some time.

Ms Tuite, of Walkinstown Park, Walkinstown, Dublin, said she was off work for several weeks following the incident and her ankle still ached during cold weather.  She sued Dunnes for negligence.

Dunnes Stores denied liability and argued the olive oil could only have been on the floor for a very short period of time before Ms Tuite slipped on it.

Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, said employment law required employers to provide a safe place of work and environment to their employees. 

Olive oil was a potentially dangerous hazard and therefore Dunnes Stores had a particular duty of care.  He awarded Ms Tuite €12,500 damages along with her legal costs. 

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