herald

Tuesday 27 September 2016

Singer who slipped on milk and hurt back in Dunnes gets €64,000

Rachel Prior was described as a truthful witness by the judge
Rachel Prior was described as a truthful witness by the judge

A woman who slipped and fell in a Dunnes Stores supermarket has been awarded €64,300 in damages.

Rachel Prior (32), a singer known by the stage name of Rachy P, sued Dunnes over injuries she suffered in the incident at the chain's outlet in Henry Street, Limerick.

She claimed her feet shot out from under her and she fell forcefully on to her back after coming into contact with milk or cream on the floor near the diary fridge.

She said she suffered immediate pain.

The High Court heard that Ms Prior suffered pain in her neck and lower back and other injuries as a result of the accident.

Dunnes denied the claims.

During the case, the supermarket's lawyers said Ms Prior's social media posts, including images showing her holding bowling balls and punching a virtual reality boxing machine, showed she was not suffering from any significant disability.

Mr Justice Anthony Barr said Ms Prior - of Woodlawn, Brickhill West, Cratloe, Co Clare - had established negligence.

He accepted expert evidence on her behalf that the floor where the accident happened is shiny and a spillage would not have been readily visible to a person walking down the aisle.

The judge found no contributory negligence by Ms Prior, who he described as a truthful witness.

While some of her injuries have resolved, she will continue to have lower back pain in the future, he said.

He noted that Ms Prior accepted that since the accident on December 6, 2008 she did high-energy dance routines as part of her musical performances and other activities, some of which were posted on social media.

She said that despite her injuries she had tried to get on with her life, but "would pay for her activities in the days after a gig".

Energetic

The judge said it appeared she would be able to pursue a singing career which involves energetic dance moves.

Noting the online postings, he said she was able to pursue fairly active sporting and recreation activities. It was clear she was "a fit young lady".

She would, the judge said, have to adapt her lifestyle to take account of her condition.

Ms Prior had "not attempted to overstate her injuries" and "was genuine in her complaints", he said.

The judge agreed to place a stay on the €64,300 award in the event of an appeal, provided €30,000 was paid to Ms Prior plus another €20,000 towards her legal costs.

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