Woman who slipped and fell on wet floor in supermarket awarded €75,000
Ms Julie Greene who was claiming damages for injuries sustained as a result of a slip and fall on rainwater that had accumulated inside the entrance to the Dunnes’ Stores in Ennis.
The failure by Dunnes Stores to place a mat inside the entrance to its Ennis store on a wet August day four years ago, has cost the retailer €75,310.
Ms Greene was awarded this amount by Mr Justice Anthony Barr as she sustained back injuries after slipping on the wet floor.
Ms Greene gave evidence that the floor had been made slippery by customers transporting rainwater into the premises on the soles of their shoes and commented that it was a very wet day outside on the day of the accident.
Mr Justice Barr commented that the accident ‘was due to the negligence of Dunnes Stores in failing to place a mat just inside the entrance having regard to the weather conditions pertaining at the time.’
Dunnes Stores denied liability stating that they had no record of of Ms Greene ever having slipped at the location.
Mr Justice Barr was satisfied that Ms Greene gave an accurate and truthful account of the accident.
‘I accept her testimony that it had been raining and she slipped due to rain water that was on the surface.’
Mr Justice Barr also accepted Ms Greene’s evidence that there was no mat in situ and that the accident was brought to the attention of to Dunnes Stores staff members who came to her after she fell. He found it to be a mystery that there was no written record of the accident.
Ms Greene gave evidence that she still experiences back pain on a constant basis and manages the pain on pain killers and doses of anti-inflammatories. She commented that she has difficulty sitting for any extended period of time. The maximum length of time that she can drive for is in one hour periods, and one and a half hour periods for walking.
Mr Justice Barr assessed the damages and found that Ms Greene has been permanently injured by the accident and he awarded €35,000 for pain and suffering already endured and €40,000 for future pain and suffering and €310 in special damages. Ms Greene’s legal costs were also awarded.
Mr Justice Barr did say that he would grant a stay on the award pending an appeal, provided that Dunnes Stores now pay €45,000 in damages and €20,000 towards Ms Greene’s legal costs.