Judge warns people against compensation actions 'you can't bring home'; dismisses Tipp man's fall claim

A High Court judge today told people don't bring personal injury claims "you can't bring home".

Ms Justice Bronagh O'Hanlon said she wanted that message to go out as she dismissed the case of a 60-year old Tipperary man who had claimed he had slipped on a garage forecourt as he went to pay for his petrol.

The judge said she did not find Bernard Cronin at all convincing in relation to his claim and she found he failed to reach the bar in terms of proving his case on the balance of probabilities.

Ms Justice O'Hanlon said Bernard Cronin did not have any evidence of an oil spillage as he didn't have the clothing which he was wearing on the date of the alleged accident and the items were not available.

The judge accepted the evidence of two of the petrol garage workers and said it was "compelling and is fully accepted and their reliability and credibility could not be doubted".

The judge said one of the employees was utterly convincing and adamant that no incident had occurred as described by Mr Cronin.

Ms Justice O'Hanlon also noted an MRI report suggested any difficulty with Mr Cronin's knee joint was an old injury yet the court noted that at the joint inspection Mr Cronin arrived with a stick.

Bernard Cronin (60) from Clonmel, Co Tipperary had sued the Petrogas Group Ltd as a result of an alleged fall at its service station at Dungarvan Road, Clonmel, Co Tipperary on March 6, 2015.

Mr Cronin maintained he parked at the middle petrol pump and got €10 worth of fuel and while he was walking towards the pay station, he saw the station door ajar and claimed he was motioned to go in the door but at that point, he turned and fell.

His claim was that he skidded on what was allegedly oil or diesel on the ground. Mr Cronin alleged the fall took place at the wheelchair bay and he claimed he paid for the petrol while on his hands and knees on the ground.

Ms Justice O'Hanlon said a number of features of the case caused concern to the court and it was hotly disputed the accident occurred at all.

The judge noted Bernard Cronin had used two different addresses and two different forms of his name on two different sets of proceedings.

She also noted the defendants produced no incident report book and failed to reply to solicitor's correspondence and failed to call relevant witnesses.

The judge awarded costs against Mr Cronin but confined it to one day of the two-day hearing.

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