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Supermarket and security staff liable for injuries sustained in an assault outside its premises

By: Ian Fitzharris BL

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High Court awards damages totalling €750,243.39 to an injured party for serious and permanent brain injuries sustained as a result of an assault, by a third party not joined to the proceedings, outside of a supermarket following his eviction by security staff, on the grounds that there was a duty of care on the proprietor (and its security personnel) to readmit the innocent plaintiff back into the establishment once it was reasonably foreseeable that he would be subjected to a serious and imminent personal assault, which itself could not be deemed a 'new intervening act' which should shield the establishment from liability.

Personal injuries - assault by third party following eviction from premises by defendant's security staff - factual sequence of events - no contributory negligence on plaintiff's part - whether a duty of care arose - injuries to plaintiff reasonably foreseeable once he was denied readmission - just and reasonable to impose duty of care - novus actus interveniens - whether an unbridgeable chasm between defendants' actions and the actions of the assailant - failure to readmit plaintiff and pushing him back towards danger - injury foreseeable - concurrent wrongdoers - civil liability legislation - separate plenary proceedings issued against assailant but now statute barred (personal injuries claim only)- meaning and purpose of concurrent wrongdoer legislative provision - live unbarred action for trespass to person against assailant - legislative provision does not require a live personal injuries action to be extant - quantum - brain injuries serious and significant - permanent deficit - damages - actuarial reports regarding future loss of earnings - future promotion would have taken place - general damages - book of quantum of no real significance given injuries sustained - case to be looked at in the round.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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