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Woman seen on CCTV ‘genuflecting’ before falling on Penneys floor loses €38k claim

Beata Mosakowska’s collapse ‘did not look like a movement associated with a traditional slip and fall’

Penney's. Photo: Fergal Phillips


A 44-year-old woman, who was seen on CCTV to “genuflect” before collapsing, has lost a personal injuries claim for €38,000 against the Omni Park Shopping Centre and Pennys.

Judge Terence O’Sullivan, after watching a video of the incident, said Beata Mosakowska appeared to gradually collapse as her already painful left knee bent and went from under her as she slowly went down, injuring her healthy right knee.

Forensic engineer Kevin Rudden, head of Garland Consulting, who inspected the area and carried out a detailed examination of CCTV footage of the incident told the court he noticed Ms Mosakowska, now aged 54, going down on the left knee in an apparent genuflection movement.

“It seemed a gradual descending of the left knee and does not look like a movement associated with a traditional slip and fall,” he told defence barrister Andrew J King during the Circuit Civil Court hearing.

He said that during an inspection he had watched 138 people pass without incident over the very spot where Ms Mosakowska’s “slip” had allegedly taken place. He had been told the floor had been dry at the time but agreed that if it was wet it would become slippery.

Mosakowska, of Seagrove Rise, Meakstown, Finglas, Dublin, said she had fallen on a slippery floor surface in the shopping centre in February 2012.

Previous to the incident she had been injured in a car crash, a case that she had settled for €35,000, and had a problem with her left knee since 2007.

She disagreed with Mr King’s suggestion that from the video it appeared her left leg had simply given way under her rather than her having been caused to fall because of a slippery floor.

Judge O’Sullivan, dismissing the 10-year-old case and awarding legal costs against her, said he accepted Ms Mosakowska was honest and had decided that something had caused her to slip.

“Having reviewed the CCTV it is much more probable that her left knee had collapsed under her to some extent. Everything points to that and she does go into an unusual genuflection position and actually does fall to the floor,” the judge said.

He said her evidence that the floor was wet was an inference she had drawn but he did not think that was what had happened. There had been considerable movement of people over the site of the incident prior to her fall and if there had been liquid on the ground he felt someone else would have had a problem with it.

“Regrettably I have to say she is a lady with an unfortunate medical history and there is not sufficient evidence for me to decide she slipped due to any negligence of the defendants.”

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