Jiao Zhang, a Dublin accountant, was unsuccessful in her claim against Lidl in the Circuit Court.
Claimed child was running amok
Ms Zhang claimed that a child had been running amok in the Lidl shop in Leixlip where she was shopping. She was 16 weeks pregnant at the time. She claimed that child had been out of control in shop in full view of the staff. According to Ms Zhang, the nine-year-old struck her from behind and knocked her down. She twisted her body to protect the bump.
Ms Zhang had initially claimed that she had suffered injury to right leg but later told doctors that it was her left leg. At the hearing, she also alleged that she suffered back injuries. However, this had not been mentioned to her doctors, nor was it disclosed to the doctor who examined her on behalf of Lidl. Medical records also disclosed during the course of the proceedings that Ms Zhang had suffered with back pain previously when pregnant in 2014, and that she had been referred to specialists.
CCTV footage of the incident was put to Ms Zhang in cross examination. The barrister for Lidl suggested that the CCTV footage demonstrated that Ms Zhang had in fact put her leg out to trip the child who then collided with her leg.
Judge Sarah Berkley dismissed Ms Zhang’s claim. Judge Berkely stated that she had watched the footage of the events after the collision and it did not disclose that Ms Zhang had fallen to the ground in the manner she had described to her treating medical doctors. The judge also noted that Ms Zhang had made no mention of the back injury she now complained of in court. Ms Zhang was also ordered to pay Lidl’s legal costs of defending the action.
.*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.*