Woman claims she suffered burns when Dunnes Stores jug shattered
Posted on 12th December 2019 at 21:46
A woman has sued Dunnes Stores claiming she suffered burn injuries after a glass jug bought in one of its outlets exploded and shattered after she poured hot water from a kettle into it.
Eva Cekanova (30), of Windmill Terrace, Clonsilla, Dublin, told the High Court on Thursday that in her native Slovakia tea is made in a big glass jug.
She said she boiled a kettle in her apartment and let it sit for a few minutes before pouring the water, which was at a temperature of 80 to 90 degrees, on to a watermelon teabag in the jug.
“I was just making tea like I did a million times before and it never happened. The water was not boiling,” she said.
She said the jug shattered into pieces and she fell back so that the liquid hit her thigh, knee and legs. She said she suffered burns which have left her scarred.
Dunnes Stores has denied liability and argued that the glass jug was intended for cold drinks like juice or cordial and not for hot liquids.
The retailer, the court was told, has sold 11,000 such glass jugs in the last four years with the only complaint coming from Ms Cekanova, who bought one at the Blanchardstown Shopping Centre on December 5th, 2015.
She alleges failure to ensure placement of any, or any adequate, warning on the jug and that she was sold an allegedly defective and dangerous homeware item.
It is also claimed there was failure to have a system to ensure consistent use of warning stickers on the product.
Dunnes Stores denies all the claims and that the incident occurred as alleged. It has pleaded that Ms Cekanova failed to heed a warning sticker on the jug, which Dunnes says specifically states not to use hot water in it.
Ms Cekanova said she bought the jug when she and her husband moved into their new apartment. She made tea in the jug that evening and the accident happened the next morning as she prepared breakfast. .
She told Marcus Daly SC, for Dunnes, that she had “never before in my life” heard of putting a metal unit like a spoon into a glass when pouring hot liquid in to it. When counsel suggested the accident was her fault, she asked why there was a warning label on some jugs and not others.
“If I was warned, I would not have put hot water and there was no sticker on the jug,” she said.
Ms Cekanova’s husband, Marcin, said that after the jug shattered, his wife was screaming and he brought her to the bathroom where he put cold water on her legs. She later got medical treatment. He said they bought the jug for making tea and there was no warning sticker on it.
Dunnes Stores manager Ken Young, who spoke with Ms Cekanova and logged her complaint 12 days after the incident, said she had indicated to him where she had suffered burns. She was wearing leggings, which struck him as odd if she had burned her legs, he said.
Mr Justice Kevin Cross will give his judgment on Friday.
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