Wednesday 21 March 2018

Woman who slipped on grapes has Tesco award cut to €1.25m

Patricia Walsh Picture: Maxwells
Patricia Walsh Picture: Maxwells

Tim Healy

A woman left permanently disabled with severe back and other injuries after slipping on grapes while shopping in a Tesco store has had her €1.43m damages award reduced to €1.25m.

Patricia Walsh (48), a mother of two, from Carrigaholt, Co Clare, sued over her fall in the fruit section of the Tesco store at Kilrush, in August 2012. She hit the ground after her legs shot out from under her and was unable to get up.

Tesco admitted liability on the first day of the High Court hearing but disputed the sums claimed.

On the basis of medical and other evidence heard over seven days, Mr Justice Anthony Barr held she suffered severe physical and psychological injuries, including serious back and bladder injuries, leaving her "grossly disabled in all aspects of her life".

A former active sportswoman who had played GAA with Co Clare and Munster, she cannot play sports and will probably be unable to resume her work as a part-time secretary, he said.

He awarded some €1.43m but Tesco appealed that sum. A stay applied on the award pending appeal on condition €500,000 was paid out in advance, plus 75pc of her legal costs.

Yesterday, the three-judge Court of Appeal cut the award by about €182,000 on foot of various findings, including about the number of medical procedures to be funded.

While accepting Tesco "to a certain extent" won its appeal, Ms Justice Mary Irvine said Ms Walsh was entitled to costs of the appeal. That was for reasons including Tesco's failure to respond to a letter from Ms Walsh's side last January, before the appeal hearing, offering to accept €1.2m instead of the €1.4m award. Had Tesco accepted that offer, Ms Walsh would have received less than the appeal court had decided she was entitled to, the judge noted.

Tesco wished to appeal for reasons including it considered the overall award was too high.

Irish Independent

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