Woman suing over fall in pet shop denies tripping over own dog

Carole Vickery (61) claims she fractured femur when foot got caught on lip of door in Petzone, Coolock

A woman who claims she broke her leg when she tripped on a lip at a door in a pet shop has denied in the High Court that she tripped over her own dog who she had brought in to have its nails clipped.

Carole Vickery (61), of Adare Drive, Coolock, Dublin, is suing Petzone Ltd and its owner Kieran Stenson over the accident in Petzone, Coolock Village, on August 9th, 2014. The defendants deny negligence and say Ms Vickery fell while trying to avoid her dog who ran in front of her legs.

She claims she fractured her femur when her foot got caught in a runner for a sliding security door at the entrance to the premises. She said she “fell forward and landed all the way out in the middle of the yard”.

A pharmacist working in a premises directly opposite the pet store told the court she saw Ms Vickery stumble after she tried to avoid stepping on her Glen of Imaal terrier.


Jennifer Rigney, who worked in the Village Pharmacy, Coolock, said she was looking out the window when she saw a woman come out of the pet store and “almost before she fell I could see it happening”. She said the dog ran across Ms Vickery and she tumbled and fell over.


Asked by the defendants’ counsel, Miriam Reilly SC, why she could have anticipated something was going to happen, Ms Rigney said: “Whatever way her foot went to come out onto the pavement and rather than stand on the little dog she tumbled,” she said.

Ms Rigney wrote a note about what she saw at the request of Mr Stenson the day after the accident. She also said she was very glad she wrote the note because she would not have remembered today what had happened so many years ago.

The court heard that Mr Stenson, who held the door open for Ms Rigney as she exited, will also give evidence that the dog ran between her legs and that he heard someone say “the dog is a **** nuisance” after the accident.

Ms Vickery disagreed that she had told her doctors she had a previous fall over her dog in 2012 or that she had three falls in total in 2014. She agreed she had one other fall in 2014 when she missed a step in a garage. She said she suffered from blurred vision in one eye.

She claims the pet store fall seriously affected her life. It impacted her acting as a carer, walking to the shops and doing mountain walks in Co Mayo as she had done beforehand.

Her son, Adam, who accompanied his mother to the store, said he was “100 per cent sure” she did not trip over the dog. He said he had the dog on a lead and it had just been taken off a table in the groomers when he saw his mother fall.

The case continues before Mr Justice Tony O’Connor.