Who’s to blame?

In a fault-based system, one must ground liability in another to succeed in an action.  You need someone to blame. 

The High Court sitting in Kilkenny recently considered this in the circumstances of an accident which occurred at a supermarket in the city.  The Plaintiff was employed as a sales assistant. Whilst ‘facing out’ stock in the off-licence area, she fell off a step-ladder and was injured.    

In the course of the trial evidence was adduced that the Plaintiff had been trained in the use of the step-ladder but that she had not followed that training.  This was supported by CCTV footage of the incident.  Further, there was no defect in the step-ladder.

The judge concluded that the accident occurred because the Plaintiff missed her step whilst coming down the ladder. If blame were to be attributed to any one party, it would point to the Plaintiff.  Accordingly, her claim against the Defendant was dismissed.

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Case note: Falsey v. Dunnes Stores [2018] IEHC 679 (04 December 2018)

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