Woman who slipped on chip in shopping centre sues for damages

A mother of four who claimed she slipped on a chip on the floor of a shopping centre food court has sued in the High Court, writes Ann O'Loughlin.

Lina Misiunaite said her ankle went over and she fell forward injuring her knee as she walked through the food court at Liffey Valley shopping centre two years ago.

When she sat on a chair afterwards she told the court she saw the chip which "was crushed" on the floor.

Lina Misiunaite (aged 36) of Coldcut Park, Liffey Valley, Palmerstown, Dublin has sued the owners/occupiers of the food court area, two UK companies HSBC Alternative Investments Ltd and Grosvenor Limited and Hines Real Estate Ireland Limited, Hogan Place, Dublin and the cleaning company at the food court, Noonan Services Group Ltd , Swords Business Park, Swords, Co Dublin as a result of the fall on November 4, 2014.

She has claimed a chip was allowed to remain on the floor of the food court and there was an alleged failure to warn her of the danger posed by the chip.

She said afterwards she found it difficult to look after her young children and household tasks such as hoovering and lifting shopping bags were difficult.

Lina Misiunaite. Pic: Courtpix

The claims are denied.

Noonan Services Group also contends it had a proper cleaning system in place at the food court.

Opening the case Niall Fitzgibbon SC said the accident occurred at a confluence of food outlets where there are about nine restaurants on the second floor of the centre in an area which seats about 600 people.

In evidence Ms Misiunaite said she was on her way to buy food for her children when the accident occurred. She said she was shocked afterwards and was taken to an ambulance in a wheelchair. She said her ankle injury cleared up within eight weeks but she was on anti-inflammatories for three months for her knee.

Under cross examination by Declan Buckley SC for the cleaning company, Ms Misiunaite agreed she had settled a claim against Lidl supermarkets for €10,000 after she sued in relation to a slip and fall in February 2013.

She agreed that she had hurt the same knee in that accident. Mr Buckley put to her that she was also in the past involved in a road traffic accident.

"I am unlucky, " she replied.

She denied her shoes had anything to do with her Liffey Valley fall and said she was wearing practical short boots at the time.

"It had nothing to do with my heels," she commented.

Engineer David Browne told the court he did a slip test on the tiled floor of the food court and found under dry conditions there was a low risk of slipping and when the floor was wet or had a chip on it there was a high risk of slipping.

The case before Mr Justice Kevin Cross continues tomorrow.

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