herald

Monday 5 December 2016

€48k for nurse who tripped over beer in Tesco

Bernadette Higgins had a fall
Bernadette Higgins had a fall

A 32-year-old nurse who suffers ongoing pain since she fractured her left knee after tripping over a case of beer in a Tesco store has been awarded €60,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court.

Bernadette Higgins lost €12,000 of the award, though, on the basis she had contributed 20pc towards her fall.

Higgins claimed that in January 2014 she entered the Tesco Metro store in Terenure, Dublin, and had been making her way to the wine section through a queue of customers at the self-service check-out area when she fell over a six-pack of beer. She told her barrister, Gerard Groarke, that after falling on the floor the customer who left the case while waiting to enter the check-out area helped her up and apologised.

The court heard Higgins was taken by ambulance to the ED of St James' Hospital where X-rays revealed a fracture to her left knee.

Higgins, of Horton Court, Terenure, told Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke that she had undergone reconstruction surgery of her left knee just five months before the accident but had no difficulties.

Since her fall she had to give up football and running, had to undergo two surgeries and had a visible scar. The court heard she has ongoing pain and still needs to attend physiotherapy.

Tesco denied liability and claimed the case of beer had been on the floor for only seconds before Ms Higgins fell.

The store alleged the case of beer was highly visible and Ms Higgins had not looked where she was going. It claimed there was nothing it could have done to prevent the incident.

Initially awarding her the maximum €60,000 personal injury damages possible, Judge Groarke said he found her to be 20pc liable for contributory negligence, and then reduced her award to €48,000.

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