Friday, 29 November 2013 10:46

Woman awarded €71,340 in damages after fracturing knee on new tiles

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A woman who fractured her knee when she slipped on new porcelain tiles in her kitchen has been awarded €71,340 by the High Court following her successful personal injury* claim against the tile supplier.

The woman sued the tile supplier and she claimed that the tile supplier was negligent in supplying a tile which was not fit for purpose in that they did not have sufficient anti-slip properties particularly for use in a kitchen which would regularly be wet. The Defendant denied the claims and told the court that they had sold 16 million square yards of tiles to 800,000 customers in the last 15 years without anyone else making a claim against them.

The High Court was told that the woman bought the tiles in September 2009 and they were laid by the woman’s husband. It was alleged that within a month, the woman’s teenage son slipped on them after coming into the house and banged his head off a kitchen cabinet. It was also alleged that the child’s grandmother had also nearly fallen while the family Labrador slipped around the floor when he was in the kitchen.

The Court was told that on the day the accident occurred, the woman had just washed the tiles and left them to dry for about 20 minutes. On her return, she slipped on the floor and suffered a significant fracture to her kneecap. She attended A & E where she was put in a cast for a week and into a hip-to-toe brace for six weeks.

The Judge of the High Court, Mr Justice Kevin Cross, in awarding the woman €71,340 in compensation, said that he had to agree with a description he heard from one of the witnesses that the floor tiles were “lethal”. Mr Justice Cross also said that he accepted expert evidence on behalf of the woman that the tiles were unsuitable for a kitchen as they were particularly slippy when wet.

*In contentious business a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.

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