Woman must pay cost of failed €75,000 defamation action against Dealz

Naomi Sunner (21) alleged staff in Dublin store accused her of stealing a toy rattle

A woman who claimed she was defamed when shop staff accused her of stealing a toy rattle for her child, has been ordered to pay the legal costs of an unsuccessful claim against Dealz Retailing Ireland and its security firm.

The €75,000 defamation action by Naomi Sunner (21) was thrown out by Judge Jacqueline Linnane in the Circuit Civil Court.

The judge said it followed in such cases that unsuccessful claimants should pay the legal costs of defendants.

“People should be a little bit slower about going to their solicitors when things of this nature are said to them in shops,” the Judge told Ms Sunner, of East Road, East Wall, Dublin 3.


She had sued the Dealz store in Dublin’s Talbot Street and security firm Lodge Service (Dublin) Ltd of Canal Road, Rathmines, who had allegedly told her they saw her “steal the toy” during a shopping trip in March 2017.

Other shelf

The court heard Ms Sunner was seen taking the rattle from a shelf and giving it to her child. After she and her child left the shop, the rattle was found on another shelf.

Frank Martin, counsel for the defendants, told the court the incident was noticed by security staff and when asked if she intended to pay for the toy, Ms Sunner denied having taken it.

Mr Martin, who appeared with Mary Byrne of O’Brien Lynam Solicitors, told Judge Linnane the defendants denied each and every particular of the defamation and false imprisonment allegations Ms Sunner made.

Dismissing Ms Sunner’s claim, Judge Linnane said the court was not satisfied she had established any case of having been defamed.

The judge said Ms Sunner was the author of her own misfortune by having given the rattle to the child in the first place. She said people should stop running to their solicitors.