Dunnes worker gets s70k after slipping on olive oil

Tim Healy

A DUNNES Stores worker who slipped on an olive oil spill and injured her shoulder was yesterday awarded €70,000 by the High Court.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine accepted Eileen Monahan's account of what happened when she slipped on the spill in Dunnes ILAC store, Dublin, after six bottles of olive oil crashed to the ground.

The judge said that while two yellow warning signs may have been placed at the spill, they were not within the worker's sight as she approached.

Eileen Monahan (55), from Beneavin Road, Glasneven, Dublin had sued Dunnes Stores over the accident on December 1, 2006.


The judge said olive oil creates a slip hazard that is unique. The risk she said, is not the same as a coffee, water or soft drink spill.

There was, she said, a duty of care on Dunnes to cordon off the spillage in such a way that a person did not unwittingly gain access.

Ms Justice Irvine said that she was satisfied that six or seven bottles had fallen on the ground and and that there was plenty of time to put up a cordon.

The judge was satisfied Ms Monahan did not receive warnings from a manager as contended by Dunnes Stores and neither did he gesture with his hand to Ms Monahan as she walked towards the area.

She said that she found it difficult to expect that Ms Monahan would twice disobey her floor manager and the judge noted she had a flawless work record.


Ms Justice Irvine said she would not make a finding of contributory negligence on Ms Monahan's part.

Costs and agreed special damages will be mentioned to the court at a later date.

Ms Monahan has worked with Dunnes Stores for the past 30 years and was a department manager at the time of the accident.

She fractured her shoulder and said she could not hang clothes out on the washing line afterwards.

Dunnes contended in evidence that Ms Monahan had been warned as she approached the spill and a manager had also gestured to her.