Woman splashed with petrol at garage has €60,000 injury claim dismissed
Posted on 24th March 2022 at 20:28
A child care assistant who claimed she was injured when petrol splashed into her mouth at a filling station, has lost a €60,000 damages claim against Maxol.
Geraldine McLaren (59), of Kippure Park, Finglas South, Dublin 11, told Judge Dara Hayes in the Circuit Civil Court that the incident happened in March 2017 as she was filling her car at a garage on the Swords Road in Santry.
She said she inserted the pump nozzle into her car’s fuel tank and that it then jammed. She said that when she pressed it more firmly petrol splashed into her mouth and onto her cardigan sleeve and trousers.
Ms McLaren told the court she swallowed an amount of petrol and afterwards felt dizzy and unsteady. She said she suffered pain and discomfort to the right side of her mouth and throat, which was treated with mouthwash. She said she attended her doctor and was prescribed Solpadine.
Gráinne Larkin, counsel for Maxol, whose registered office is at the IFSC in Dublin, told Ms McLaren that CCTV footage of the incident shown to the court did not indicate that any petrol sprayed into her mouth. Ms McLaren said it did splash into her mouth when she shook her sleeve.
Dismissing the claim, Judge Hayes said it was clear from the footage that the spray did not go into her mouth.
“It was undoubtedly a shocking and frightening incident but in order to succeed in a claim for damages the plaintiff must establish there was negligence and breach of duty on the part of the defendant,” the judge said.
Judge Hayes said there was no evidence that the pump was faulty in any foreseeable way on the day other than on the single occasion complained of. The pump had functioned normally on the day and had not required any subsequent servicing or maintenance, he said.
He said at most what had happened was a freak accident and that did not, of itself, constitute negligence.
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