Psychiatric nurse awarded €130,000 after Weetabix boxes fell on her during Tesco shopping trip

© The Irish Independent

A psychiatric nurse who was injured when boxes of Weetabix breakfast cereal fell on her in Tescos has been awarded €130,000 in damages. Christina Butler of Crecora, Co Limerick, was shopping at Tesco in the Crescent Shopping Centre, Limerick, when the accident occurred on May 2, 2008.

The mother-of-three was in the grocery section of the store when a number of boxes of Weetabix fell on her. This caused her to jerk away from the boxes before falling to the ground. She suffered soft tissue injuries mainly to her neck, back and right shoulder.

After two days of evidence at the High Court in Limerick, Mr Justice Paul McDermott said it was clear that while soft tissue injuries normally resolve themselves, “sometimes this doesn’t happen”.

A medical examination carried out in August 2013, confirmed that Ms Butler was suffering from dizziness and residual shoulder pain. Six years after the accident, she still had difficulties at work as well as trouble sleeping, the court heard.

Mr Justice McDermott said there was no evidence to indicate that Ms Butler would fully recover from her injuries and it was “a tribute to her that she did not exaggerate her injuries and has taken every step to ensure that she could stay at work”.

She had embarked upon physiotherapy sessions, reiki and acupuncture to cure the pain. She swapped shifts at work if she was in pain and would make up her hours when the pain subsided.

Stating that the onset of anxiety was a “major intrusion on her life” and further surgery could be required, Mr Justice McDermott said it would be appropriate to award Ms Butler damages of €135,588.35, including medical expenses.

The mother of three was also awarded her legal costs.

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