Pensioner awarded maximum personal injury damages

Eileen McAuley

An 88-year-old pensioner who was struck by a trolley in a department store has been given the maximum €60,000 personal injury damages that can awarded by Circuit Civil Court judges.

Barrister Eileen McAuley, instructed by Synnott Lawline solicitors, told Judge Jacqueline Linnane that a worker in Northside Shopping Centre in Coolock, Dublin, “blindly pushed” a pallet trolley stacked with boxes, injuring Christina O’Reilly who was out shopping with her daughter.

Ms McAuley said: “Prior to the accident, Ms O’Reilly had led an active social life which included ballroom dancing every Sunday night, which she had to give up.

“She can no longer do her own shopping.”

Before the case went to court Dunnes Stores admitted liability for the incident and so the judge merely had to assess damages for the victim.

Judge Linnane said Ms O’Reilly had led a full, active social life up until the accident and had been living independently. She was now dependent on the help of her family.

The judge awarded Ms O’Reilly €60,000 damages and her legal costs and when counsel for Dunnes Stores asked for a stay to facilitate consideration of an appeal to the High Court, Judge Linnane ordered payment of €45,000 to Ms O’Reilly.