Tuesday 16 January 2018

Mother who injured herself in fall after overloading Tesco trolley with children loses €60,000 claim


Ray Managh

A mother, who overloaded her shopping trolley with her children and injured herself in a fall, has lost a €60,000 damages claim against her local Tesco.

Forensic engineer Stephen Mooney told Judge James O’Donohoe in the Circuit Civil court today that by putting her children, aged three and six, on the trolley Patricia Martin had destabilised it and caused it to topple.

Ms Martin, aged 43, claimed she had injured both her knees and her left thigh when the trolley knocked her down while she tried to protect her two children from hitting the trolley ramp.

She told the court that she had carried out a shopping at Tesco, Churchview Road, Ballybrack, Co Dublin, in July 2014 and was leaving the store with her goods, and her three year old son and six year old daughter seated on the trolley, when the accident happened.

Martin, of Oakton Park, Ballybrack, claimed the accident had been caused by a deficiency in the trolley or in the ramp leading from the store to the car park. She said she had been pushing the trolley when it had suddenly overturned.

Mr Mooney told the court that cctv coverage of the incident revealed that Ms Martin had been approaching the ramp with her trolley side-on to it when the accident occurred.  He said there had been no problem with either the trolley or the ramp.

He said the trolley provided seating for two toddlers of a combined weight of no more than 19 kilos but, between them, Ms Martin’s two children weighed 36 kilos, just under twice the recommended weight maximum.

“The extra weight of the children would certainly have destabilized the trolley,” he told barrister Frank Martin, counsel for Tesco, who appeared with Declan O’Flaherty of Tormeys Solicitors.

Judge O’Donohoe, dismissing Ms Martin’s claim and awarding costs against her, said it was reckless of her to have put both children on the trolley and she had been the author of her own misfortune.  Neither the trolley or ramp had breached any safety regulation.

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