Thursday 18 July 2019

Woman who slipped on spilled cream in Dunnes Stores awarded €75k

Maureen Curran, with an address in Tymonville Court, Tallaght, Dublin pictured leaving the Four Courts Photo: Collins Courts
Maureen Curran, with an address in Tymonville Court, Tallaght, Dublin pictured leaving the Four Courts Photo: Collins Courts

Tim Healy

A woman who slipped on spilled cream in a supermarket has been awarded €75,000 by the High Court.

Maureen Curran (64) was working at the time as a Glanbia rep visiting supermarkets when the accident occurred on September 3, 2013 in Dunnes Stores, Cavan town.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross said she suffered a nasty injury when she had a "sudden and helpless fall". 

Mrs Curran, Tymonville Court, Tallaght, Dublin, sued Dunnes Stores and Glanbia.

She claimed there was an alleged failure by Dunnes Stores to have an adequate cleaning system in operation.

There was also an alleged failure to warn her of the danger posed by the spillage.

She claimed against Glanbia that there was an alleged failure to take any or any adequate precautions for her safety while she was engaged in her work.

The claims were denied an a hearing took place over a day and a half in the High Court.

She told the court she walking in a normal manner along the dairy aisle when her legs went from under her and she slipped on a cream spillage which was being mopped up by staff.

"My feet went from under me. I landed sideways," she said. The incident was captured on CCTV.

She said she got up but it was only when she reached for her phone, she realised her hand did not work as it should. 

She had fractured her right wrist and still has to wear a splint most days, the court heard.

In his judgment awarding her €75,000, Mr Justice Cross said all witnesses in the case had given truthful evidence.

The accident, he said, did not occur when the floor was being cleaned by Dunnes Stores staff.

He found Dunnes had failed to have warning signs to mark out the extent of the spillage.

Mrs Curran saw the one warning sign which she presumed was the location of the spill and not where she slipped, he said.

The supermarket protocol says that warning signs should be left out until the floor is dry, he said.

It was vital to ensure the entire area of a floor was dry and this unfortunately was not done, he said.

He found no contributory negligence on the part of Ms Curran.

She did nothing the judge said that visitors to Dunnes Stores are not expected to do, that is walk up and down the aisle doing their business.

She was an honest woman who did not exaggerate her injuries, he said.

He found the loss of her job with Glanbia a year later was not related to her accident.

There was no doubt the accident had a severe effect on her, he added.

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