A FORMER FAS worker with St Vincent de Paul told a judge she had put on an extra five stone in weight since suffering a lower back injury in one of the charity's shops.
"I was just 12-and-a-half stone when the accident happened and I'm now over 17 stone. My body is very embarrassing," Sabrina Mulreany, of Braithwaite Street, Pimlico, Dublin, said in the Circuit Civil Court.
She said she was in constant pain and had to give up many of her original activities.
Mulreany, who told barrister Shane English she tripped over a plastic baby walker in Vincent's Charity Shop in Clondalkin, Dublin, in February 2008, lost a €38,000 damages claim for personal injuries against the charity and FAS.
She claimed the baby walker had been concealed beneath a rail of coats in the charity shop where she had been placed as a community worker by the national training and employment authority.
Mulreany told Mr English, counsel for FAS and the charity, she had refused to go to hospital in an ambulance on the day of her fall because of a "horrible" fear she had of doctors.
"I would have to be on death's door before going," she said.
She told the court her partner, Eddie Freeman, had called to the shop to drive her home and only after a week of constant low back pain and pressure from Eddie did she agree to go to her GP, Dr Alan O'Donohoe.
Mulreany told Mr English she attended Dr O'Donohoe on only four occasions since 2008 and had not acted on advice to have physiotherapy and an MRI scan.
Judge Deery, dismissing her €38,000 claim with an order for defence costs, said Ms Mulreany had claimed the baby walker was concealed entirely under a rail of coats and, if so, she had no reason to walk into it.
It seemed she was the author of her own misfortune and her complaints as outlined in court might not have their origin in the fall in the shop. He said her claim was not well founded.