Coat ‘turned grey after dry cleaning’

A DUBLIN housewife has been awarded damages for a Jaeger coat that changed colour during a trip to the dry cleaners.

Marie Finnerty told the Circuit Civil Court she had left her “special occasions” coat with Snowdrops Dry Cleaners at the Kingswood Shopping Centre, Tallaght, Co Dublin, in July 2009.

“It was cream coloured when I left it in and what I got back was a dirty grey-coloured coat, my coat but a different colour altogether,” she said.

Ms Finnerty, aged 52, told Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Matthew Deery, the coat had been bought by her husband, Martin, and her daughter to mark her 50th birthday.

“It was a cream-coloured coat and one I wore only on special occasions. It was difficult to keep clean and it had been to another dry cleaners without incident on a couple of occasions.”

Ms Finnerty, of Forest Green, Kingswood Heights, Tallaght, said that on the July 2009 occasion she had spoken to a Snowdrops staff member about the fact it had returned a different colour.

The girl had said she would mention it to Snowdrops owner Brian Booth and that he would be in touch with her about it.

She said she had left the coat in the dry cleaners but nobody contacted her so she returned to Snowdrops. She brought with her the coat’s cream belt.

“I wanted to prove to Snowdrops that the coat had been a cream colour when I left it in and I specifically instructed the assistant not to have the belt dry cleaned and to show it to Mr Booth,” Ms Finnerty said.

When she later returned she found the belt had been dry cleaned and was now a dirty grey colour match for the coat. She had spoken to Mr Booth, who said Snowdrops could not accept responsibility for the colour change.

He had told her the material in the coat had obviously reacted to chemicals used in the dry cleaning process and that she should return it to where it had been bought.

Ms Finnerty said she had brought the coat to the shop and staff had told her there had never been any trouble with other similar coats they had sold. They provided her with a €580 receipt for the coat.

Booth, who appealed a €580 decree against him by the Small Claims Court, said the history of the incident was as related by Ms Finnerty but he felt he was not responsible for the discolouration.

Judge Deery, affirming the €580 decree, said he was satisfied the evidence favoured an award of compensation to Ms Finnerty against Mr Booth.


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