€60,000 personal injury compensation has been awarded to a woman who was struck on the head by a falling flat-pack after she got lost in Ikea’s Ballymun warehouse for three hours.
In the Circuit Civil Court Judge Cormac Quinn said that the woman, 40-year-old Hannan Tababi, sustained both physical and psychiatric injuries and, due to this, she was entitled to compensation of €40,000, together with €20,455 for special damages to take into account the loss of earnings for a period of one year.
The woman, who has an address at Clarence Mangan Road in Dublin, informed barrister Eileen McAuley that she had spent three hours attempting to locate the Ikea stores exit when the accident happened. Appearing with Synnott Lawline Solicitors, Ms McAuley informed the court that her client had been at the store to purchase a chest of drawers at a reduced price in March 2016 at the time she was hit in the head by a large box containing flat-pack furniture.
Her client informed Justice Quinn that said the flat-pack box, which struck her in the head, was leaning up against a wall of the warehouse in the same manner that a book would be placed upright on a shelf. She said that she was looking at the label of a small box when a much bigger one fell on top of her. She was knocked to her knees in the incident. There was no staff close by to help her following the accident, she added, and there were no warning signs or safety strapping holding the secure box in place to stop it from dropping to the ground.
Ms Tababi told the court that she was rendered in a confused state after the accident and went to the emergency department of St James’s Hospital the next day due to the fact that she was having a period of intermittent ongoing dizziness and some discomfort in her left shoulder and hand. Due to the accident she was unable to stay in her role as an IT technical support worker at Apple.
She was diagnosed with Adjustment Disorder and suffered mentally due to the warehouse accident. She also suffered from intense anxiety and low mood in the months afterwards and had nightmares about things dropping on top of her and her children.
Ikea had, according to Justice Quinn, consented to the court having unlimited jurisdiction to settle with the proceeding, which meant he could award more than the standard €60,000 compensation limit for the Circuit Court. He informed the court that he had given great thought to the evidence presented, specifically the various medical reports.
There was a delay to the trial, which lasted over two days, when barrister for the defence Conor Kearney informed the court that his instructing solicitor was made aware that he had tested positive for Covid19. This case was adjourned for enough time to permit a deep cleaning of the courtroom to be completed.