A woman who got lost for three hours in Ikea's huge warehouse at Ballymun, Dublin after she had been struck on the head by a falling flat-pack, has been awarded €60,000 damages against the company.
Judge Cormac Quinn in the Circuit Civil Court said she had suffered both physical and psychiatric injuries for which she was entitled to compensation of €40,000 together with €20,455 for special damages including a year’s loss of earnings.
Hannan Tababi (40) of Clarence Mangan Road, Dublin 8, told her barrister Eileen McAuley it had taken her three hours to find the exit from the Ikea store following the incident.
Ms McAuley, who appeared with Synnott Lawline Solicitors, said her client had been shopping for a chest of drawers in the bargain corner of the Ikea warehouse in March 2016 when she was struck by a large box containing flat-pack furniture.
Ms Tababi said the flat-pack box had been leaning against a wall of the warehouse the way a book would be placed upright on a shelf. She was inspecting the label of a small box when a much larger one toppled, knocking her to her knees.
She said there had been no staff in the area to assist her, no signage warning of any danger and no strapping holding the box in place to prevent it falling.
Ms Tababi said she had been dazed after the incident and visited the emergency department of St James’s Hospital the following day as she had been experiencing ongoing dizziness as well as pain in her left shoulder and hand.
She said she had lost her job in Apple as an IT technical support worker as a result of her injuries.
She had suffered mentally from the incident and had been diagnosed with Adjustment Disorder. She experienced intense anxiety and low mood in the months afterwards and had nightmares about things falling on her or her children.
Ms Tababi’s two day trial was delayed when barrister Conor Kearney, for Ikea, told the court that his instructing solicitor had just learned in court that a Covid test he had taken a day earlier had proved positive.
The case was adjourned to allow a deep cleaning of the courtroom.
Judge Quinn said Ikea had consented to his court having unlimited jurisdiction to deal with the matter allowing him to make an award, if necessary, above the normal €60,000 jurisdiction of the Circuit Court.
He said that he had carefully considered the evidence and particularly the various medical reports over the weekend.