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Dunnes Stores Found Negligent After Employee Injured

Posted: March 18th, 2016

A judge in the High Court of Dublin have ruled that the retailer were negligent in a claim made after an employee was injured by falling down a flight of stairs.

Jean O’Reilly, the Wexford employee who filed that claim, was working at the checkouts in her local branch of the retailer in Redmond Square when the accident occurred. On the 9th December 2011, as she was reading notices for staff members, she fell down a flight of stairs that connected the locker room and the ground floor.

An ambulance brought Jean from the shop to the hospital, where she received treatment for soft tissue damage to her head and neck. Jean then wore a brace around her neck for six weeks after the accident, and attended a course of physiotherapy to help her wounds heal. During this period Jean was unable to return to work.

Jean sought legal counsel for her workplace accident, and subsequently made a claim for compensation against her employer, Dunnes Stores. In the claim, she said that the noticeboard for staff was placed too close to the top of the stairs, and as such posed a danger. Additionally, she alleges that had there been a handrail on either side of the stairs her accident could have been prevented.

However, Dunnes Stores disputed the claim for compensation, and when asked by the Injuries Board for consent to carry out an assessment, they denied. Jean was then given permission to follow her claim for workplace compensation through the courts, where it was heard earlier this month by Mr Justice Raymond Fullam.

After hearing all the evidence, Judge Fullam determined that Dunnes Stores was guilty of two counts of negligence. The first concerned the dangerous placement of the noticeboard at the top of the stairs, and the second was because of the lack of handrails on the stairs where Jean fell. As such, he found in Jean’s favour.
The judge awarded Jean a €81,500 settlement of compensation for her work accident claim. This consisted of a €65,000 settlement for the pain and loss of amenity she suffered because of the accident, and a €16,500 special damages compensation settlement for the loss of income after her accident.

Categories: Shop Assistant Injury Solicitor

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