Friday 15 December 2017

Dunnes Stores worker who tripped over checkout cable and injured knee awarded 94k

Sinead Maloney from Naas, Co. Kildare pictured leaving the Four Courts. She was awarded damages following a High Court judgement. Pic: Collins Courts
Sinead Maloney from Naas, Co. Kildare pictured leaving the Four Courts. She was awarded damages following a High Court judgement. Pic: Collins Courts
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A CHECKOUT operator who injured her knee when she tripped over a cable at a checkout has been awarded €94,000 by the High Court.

Mr Justice Bernard Barton ruled the presence of the cables under the checkout at the Newbridge Dunnes Stores branch was a hazard for any employee working at the checkouts.

Sinead Maloney (35), Castlebawn , Kilmeague, Naas, Co Kildare, tripped over the cable as she got up from the checkout on May 16, 2012.

Ms Maloney, who has worked with Dunnes for 17 years, told court the issue of cables hanging down under the checkout counters had been brought up at health and safety meetings before her accident.

The court heard after it happened, the cables had been tidied.

Mr Justice Barton ruled any inattention on the part of Ms Maloney leaving the checkout was not contributory negligence on her part.

Ms Maloney did not overemphasise her injuries and was a truthful witness, he said.

He was satisfied the accident occurred in the way described by her and she suffered a soft tissue injury to the knee  superimposed on an earlier condition.

The mother-of-two had told the court her foot got caught in the  wire as she left the till area to go on her break or to help a customer.

A colleague took a photograph, she said, of the cable hanging down underneath her desk at the checkout.

She tripped and banged her knee against another part of the checkout, she said.

She went to her GP because she had a pain in the knee and later had to have a surgical procedure on it.

She sued Dunnes Stores (Newbridge ) Ltd claiming there was an alleged failure to ensure the cables were properly secured.

Dunnes Stores denied the claims.

It contended Ms Maloney was the author of her own misfortune, that she failed to look at what she was doing, and allegedly failed to bring the fact of any loose cabling to the attention of Dunnes Stores.

Mr Justice Barton refused a stay on the payment out of the award in the event of an appeal.

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