Man (60) loses compensation claim over alleged fall while paying for petrol

Judge said a number of features of the case caused concern and it was hotly disputed the accident occurred at all

 Bernard Cronin from Clonmel, Co Tipperary, who lost a High Court action for damages as a result of an alleged fall in a garage forecourt.  Photograph: Collins Courts

Bernard Cronin from Clonmel, Co Tipperary, who lost a High Court action for damages as a result of an alleged fall in a garage forecourt. Photograph: Collins Courts

 

A High Court judge has warned people not to take personal injury claims they “can’t bring home.”

Ms Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon said she wanted that message to go out as she dismissed an action by a 60-year old Co Tipperary man over allegedly slipping on a garage forecourt as he went to pay for his petrol.

The judge said she did not find Bernard Cronin, from Clonmel, “at all convincing” in relation to his claim and he had failed to prove his case on the balance of probabilities.

Ms Justice O’Hanlon said Mr Cronin did not have any evidence of an oil spillage as he did not have the clothing he was wearing on the date of the alleged accident and the items were not available.

The judge fully accepted the “compelling” evidence of two of the garage workers and said their reliability and credibility “could not be doubted.”

One of the employees was “utterly convincing and adamant” no incident had occurred as described by Mr Cronin, she said.

She also noted an MRI scan report suggested that any difficulty with Mr Cronin’s knee joint was an old injury yet, at an inspection of the knee joint, Mr Cronin arrived with a stick.

Two different addresses

Mr Cronin had sued the Petrogas Group Ltd as a result of an alleged fall at its service station at Dungarvan Road, Clonmel on March 6th 2015.

Mr Cronin maintained he parked at the middle petrol pump and got €10 worth of fuel and, while he was walking towards the pay station, he saw the station door ajar. He claimed he was motioned to go in the door but at that point he turned and fell.

He claimed he skidded on what was allegedly oil or diesel on the ground. Mr Cronin alleged the fall took place at the wheelchair bay and claimed he paid for the petrol while on his hands and knees on the ground.

Ms Justice O’Hanlon said a number of features of the case caused concern to the court and it was hotly disputed the accident occurred at all.

Mr Cronin, she said, had used two different addresses and two different forms of his name on two different sets of proceedings.

The judge awarded costs against Mr Cronin but confined it to one day of the two day hearing.