Woman’s €60,000 claim over petrol station fall dismissed by judge

Jennifer Bolger was eight months pregnant at time of 2011 incident in Tallaght, Dublin

A woman who fell at a Topaz petrol station when she was eight-months pregnant has had a €60,000 damages claim dismissed by the Circuit Civil Court. File image: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

A woman who fell at a Topaz petrol station when she was eight-months pregnant has had a €60,000 damages claim dismissed by the Circuit Civil Court. File image: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

 

A woman who fell at a Topaz petrol station when she was eight-months pregnant has had a €60,000 damages claim dismissed by the Circuit Civil Court.

Judge James O’ Donohoe heard that Jennifer Bolger, of Butterstream Drive, Clane, Co Kildare, stopped at the Topaz outlet at Old Belgard Road, Tallaght, Dublin on the evening of February 8th, 2011.

Judge O’ Donohoe heard that Ms Bolger got out of the car to fill it with petrol and then went into the shop to pay. When she had been returning to her car she fell at the front passenger side of the vehicle, the court heard.

Ms Bolger said she was 38 weeks pregnant at the time of the accident and was taken to Coombe hospital to be treated for her injuries.

She hit her head and face off the ground and bit her tongue. She also suffered bruising to her left knee and leg and a cast had to be applied to her left wrist.

Judge O’ Donohoe heard that as a result of the accident Ms Bolger suffered significant shoulder pain and had 18 sessions of physiotherapy. Her pregnancy was not been affected by the incident.

Tripped

Barrister Andrew Walker, counsel for Topaz, said it appeared from CCTV footage that Ms Bolger tripped on the traffic island where the petrol pumps were positioned.

Ms Bolger told the court she believed a mixture of oil and water was present on the ground around the car.

Judge O’ Donohoe was shown pictures taken by Ms Bolger’s brother on the evening of the accident which showed a substance on the ground at the back of the car. Judge O’ Donohoe said the substance was seen in a different place to where Ms Bolger had fallen.

The judge questioned why Ms Bolger had never mentioned the photos in her own evidence and said he was astounded that everything had been so unclear in the case.

Judge O’ Donohoe said that he found it strange Ms Bolger had never mentioned the oil and water substance to the engineer who examined the scene of the accident. He said he believed Ms Bolger, her husband and her brother were very genuine people but that he was not satisfied with the evidence presented.

Judge O’ Donohoe said the case had not met the threshold to establish negligence on behalf Topaz Energy Group.