Woman who claimed she slipped on grape facing costs bill after action dismissed

Footage showed woman driving after claiming injury prevented her doing so for two months

During cross-examination  in the High Court it was put to the claimant that  video and medical evidence did not support her claims concerning the extent of her injuries. The claimant  insisted she had told the truth.

During cross-examination in the High Court it was put to the claimant that video and medical evidence did not support her claims concerning the extent of her injuries. The claimant insisted she had told the truth.

 

A woman who claimed she suffered injuries after slipping on a grape while working at a fruit and vegetable plant is facing a legal costs bill after her action was dismissed on consent at the High Court.

Ludmilla Olefeira was out of work for three months and claimed she suffered continuing leg and back pain following the accident at Keelings distribution plant in St Margaret’s, Co Dublin, in April 2016.

During cross-examination of Ms Olefeira on Friday, Hugh Mohan SC, for Keelings, put to her video and medical evidence did not support her claims concerning the extent of her injuries.

Ms Olefeira insisted she had told the truth.

Later on Friday, Richard McDonnell SC, for Ms Olefeira, told Mr Justice David Keane the case had been settled and compromised between the parties and the only order it was necessary to make, on consent, was for dismissal of the case with an order for the defendant’s costs against the plaintiff.

A 54-year-old mother of one and native of Latvia living in Swords, Ms Olefeira has been working in Ireland since she came here 15 years ago.

She worked for Keelings in a number of positions and was working as operative scanner, scanning details of products coming into the company, when the incident occurred.

She claimed, while holding the scanning machine and walking to a printer, she slipped on a grape and fell forward, landing on her left knee.

Among various claims, she alleged the company caused or permitted the grape to be and to remain on the floor of the premises, failed to have any or any adequate supervision of the premises and in particular grapes there, and failed to provide a safe place of work.

Author of own misfortune

She claimed she suffered significant pain in her left knee and back, was unable to drive for two months after, was out of work for three months and has ongoing symptoms in her knee and back, causing difficulties with doing housework.

An MRI scan and x ray showed pre-existing degenerative change in her knee, the court heard.

Keelings denied the claims, denied negligence and pleaded contributory negligence against Ms Olefeira. It claimed she failed to avail of her training in carrying out her duties and was the author of her own misfortune.

In evidence, Ms Olefeira said she had no complaints before the accident but it may have triggered some difficulty afterwards.

She said she went back to work to a more sedentary position but was sometimes limping and her knee gets inflamed about two times a month.

An emergency medicine consultant said in a January 2017 report she had reached a stage where she would not really get any better.

During cross examination, the court heard the incident did not involve any broken bones and the emergency medicine consultant had described her injury as a mild to moderate soft tissue injury.

Ms Olefeira said she got pain later on.

When it was put to her the defendant had video footage of her driving a heavy 4X4 vehicle to go grocery shopping on June 10th 2016 when she had claimed she was unable to drive for two months after the accident, she said she maybe went driving after taking strong painkillers. Her husband was not able to shop and buy different products, she said.

She said she continues to have difficulties doing housework and cannot stand on her left knee because it inflames making it then difficult to rise.

When Mr Mohan put to her there is nothing wrong with her knees that would impede her doing her housework and she had seriously misled the court in a number of respects, she denied that and said she was telling the truth.