Tuesday 20 August 2019

Pregnant woman who fell at Topaz petrol pump has €60k damages claim dismissed

(stock picture)
(stock picture)

Simone Smith

A woman who was eight-months pregnant when she fell at a Topaz petrol pump has had a €60,000 damages claim dismissed by the Circuit Civil Court.

Judge James O’ Donohoe heard that Jennifer Bolger of Butterstream Drive, Clane, Co Kildare had stopped at the Topaz petrol station at The Old Belgard Road, Tallaght, Dublin 24 on the evening of 8th February 2011.

Judge O’ Donohoe heard that Bolger had got out of the car to fill it with petrol and had then gone into the shop to pay. He heard that when she had been returning to her car she had fallen at the front passenger side of the vehicle.

Bolger said she had been 38 weeks pregnant at the time of the accident and that she had been taken to Coombe hospital to be treated for her injuries.

She had hit her head and face of the ground during the fall and had bitten her tongue. Bolger had also suffered bruising to her left knee and leg and a cast had been applied to her left wrist.

Judge O’ Donohoe heard that as a result of the accident Bolger had suffered significant shoulder pain and had undergone 18 sessions of physiotherapy. Her pregnancy had not been affected by the incident.

Barrister Andrew Walker, counsel for Topaz, said it had appeared from CCTV footage that Ms Bolger had tripped on the traffic island where the petrol pumps were stationed.

Bolger had told the court she believed a mixture of oil and water that had been present on the ground around the car.

Judge O’ Donohoe had been shown pictures taken by Bolger’s brother on the evening of the accident which had shown a sheeny substance on the ground at the back of the car.

Judge O’ Donohoe said that the substance had been seen in a different place that where Ms Bolger had fallen.

The court had questioned why Ms Bolger had never mentioned the photos in her own evidence and said he had been astounded that everything had been so unclear in the case.

Judge O’ Donohoe said that he found it strange Ms Bolger had never mentioned the oil and water substance to the engineer who had examined the scene of the accident.

He said he believed Ms Bolger, her husband and her brother had all been very genuine people but that he had not been satisfied with the evidence he had been presented with.

Judge O’ Donohoe said the case had not met the threshold to establish negligence on behalf Topaz Energy Group.

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