Customer tripped over a ‘significant lip’ on the tarmac surface of the forecourt at Cartons Pitstop Service Station
Camolin businessman Conor Carton was handed a bill for more than €23,000, plus legal costs, after a mishap at his premises was reviewed by Wexford Circuit Court.
The case of Angela Grehan versus Ontract Service Station Ltd, trading as Cartons Pitstop Service Station, dated back to April of 2017.
On the Saturday afternoon in question, the 70-year-old plaintiff, from 25 Rathgar Road in Dublin, was heading home from Rosslare with her husband Trevor Grehan.
The couple stopped in Camolin where she went into the shop at Carton's service station to buy coffee and sandwiches.
On her way back to the parked car, she took a tumble on what her barrister, five years later, described as a significant lip on the tarmac surface of the forecourt.
Ms Grehan, who had a history of knee surgery, suffered pain in both her knees as a result of the trip.
Engineer Donal Terry was sworn in to tell the court that the forecourt has since been properly levelled but that, at the time of the accident, it was a hazard.
In his own defence, service station proprietor Conor Carton (57) stated that he had been working in the business from the age of ten.
He recalled meeting the plaintiff on the day and filling out an incident report.
He rang her the following day to ask how she was and at the time thought that there was not much wrong with her.
However, he learned differently in October of 2017 when Ms Grehan's letter of claim arrived.
By that time it was too late to invoke insurance cover, so any pay-out would be made from his pocket.
After examining photographs of the scene, including some downloaded from Google Maps, Judge Doyle allowed the claim.
It appeared that the hazard arose from poor efforts to smooth out an area that had been used in the past as a car wash.
'It was an accident waiting to happen,' the court concluded, awarding Angela Grehan €8,650 for consultations with orthopaedic specialists and €15,000 for her pain and suffering.
The judge observed that it was unfortunate the insurance company had not been informed in time.