herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Ex-Dunnes worker gets €15k after head split by tray of bread

Jessica Kelty was injured
Jessica Kelty was injured

A Dunnes Stores sales assist- ant who was injured when a heavy tray of loaves fell on her at work has been awarded €15,000 in damages in the Circuit Civil Court.

Barrister John Quirke told Judge Terence O'Sullivan that in March 2012, Jessica Kelty was pushing a two-metre-high trolley when the top tray of bread fell off and struck her on the head.

Dizzy

Ms Kelty (23), of Brookfield Drive, Tallaght, said the trolley was nearly twice as big as she was. She was knocked to the ground during the incident and felt dizzy afterwards.

The judge heard she had been helping to stock shelves in Dunnes Stores, Tallaght, where she worked as a sales assistant.

She had been sent to the stockroom to collect a trolley of bread and pastry and, as she pushed it forward, the top tray fell, cutting her head.

Ms Kelty, who was 19 at the time and who is now a hairdresser, said she was given first aid by a colleague before attending the accident and emergency department at Tall-aght Hospital, where she was kept overnight for observation.

Following the accident, she had suffered headaches as well as pain in her neck. She had self-medicated with painkillers but still suffered neck pain.

Shane English, counsel for Dunnes, told the court that the company had accepted liability for the accident and the hearing was to assess damages.

Mr English told the court the company was challenging Ms Kelty's evidence that she had suffered "a significant injury" that still affected her work.

The judge said he did not think Ms Kelty had been knocked unconscious at the time of the accident and did not think there had been contributory negligence on her part.

He said she had "a fairly nasty time of it" and her medical notes recorded that she had been complaining of neck pain since the accident.

While she still complained of some neck discomfort, the judge felt it had more to do with the type of work she now did as a hairdresser.

Appeal

Awarding damages, Judge O'Sullivan said Ms Kelty had not looked after herself and had not gone for any physiotherapy.

She had not been to see her doctor for more than three years after the accident, and the court was driven to the conclusion that she "wasn't that badly hurt".

Following an application by Mr English for a stay on his order pending consideration of an appeal, the judge said he would allow a stay on the immediate payment of €10,000 to Ms Kelty.

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