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Nurse Awarded Injury Compensation for Tripping in Tesco

A Dublin nurse has been awarded €48,000 injury compensation for tripping in Tesco after the store was found negligent in its control of customer traffic.

In January 2014, Bernadette Higgins (32) was making her way to the wine section of the Tesco Metro store in Terenure, Dublin, when she tripped over a six-pack of beer that had been left on the floor by a customer waiting to use the self-service check-out.

The customer helped Bernadette to her feet and apologised, but due to a pain in her knee an ambulance was called and she was taken to St. James´s Hospital. At the hospital an x-ray revealed a fracture of Bernadette´s left knee – a knee she had reconstruction surgery on five months previously.

As a result of her accident in Tesco´s, Bernadette had to undergo two further surgeries and is still having physiotherapy treatment. In addition to a visible scar on her knee, Bernadette still experiences pain in her left knee and has had to give up her hobbies of football and running.

Bernadette applied for an assessment of injury compensation for tripping in Tesco to the Injuries Board, but Tesco declined their consent for the assessment to be conducted. Bernadette was subsequently issued with an authorisation to pursue her claim in court.

The hearing of her case took place last week at the Circuit Civil Court before Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, who was told that Tesco was denying liability for Bernadette´s accident as the six-pack of beer had only been on the floor for seconds before Bernadette´s accident, and there was nothing they could have done to prevent it.

However, the judge ruled that the layout of Tesco Metro in Terenure meant that customers entering the store had to negotiate other customers waiting to pay for their shopping. The judge said that Tesco should provide a defined path for customers at the self-service checkout in order to better control customer traffic.

Judge Groarke initially awarded Bernadette €60,000 injury compensation for tripping in Tesco, but after taking into account that she was not properly looking where she was going, he reduced the award to €48,000 to account for her contributory negligence.