Woman’s €56,000 award for injuries after jug exploded

14 December 2019

A woman who was scalded when a glass jug she bought in Dunnes Stores exploded after she poured hot water from a kettle into it has been awarded more than €56,000 by the High Court.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross found the jug did not have a label warning against using it for hot liquids.

He accepted Eva Cekanova would not have purchased it if it had the label.

He found Dunnes Stores was negligent to have sold the glass jug without a warning label.

The jug, the judge said, was not made of tempered glass and clearly was not suitable for making tea.

He said making tea in a glass jug was not an Irish custom but is a custom in other parts of the EU. This was what Ms Cekanova, who is from Slovakia, was doing.

The cultural certainties, he said, of an Ireland of “sturdy youths and maidens dancing at the crossroads” are no longer applicable here.

Dunnes, he said, ought to have known people in Ireland from foreign countries will use a glass jug to make tea and pour hot water into it.

However, the judge said Ms Cekanova, who has lived in Ireland for a number of years, ought to have known tea here is not made in glass jugs. She had some obligation to check if the jug was suitable before putting hot water in it, he said.

It might appear harsh, but Ms Cekanova could not escape from a finding of contributory negligence on her part for not checking, he said.

The judge found that Dunnes was 75pc responsible and Ms Cekanova was 25pc liable for the accident.

Ms Cekanova, a warehouse operator, suffered scalding wounds and ugly blisters and has been left with scarring, he said.

She had not exaggerated her complaints and it was highly commendable that she returned to work two weeks after the accident, he said.

Mr Justice Cross said she suffered a significant injury and will have the marks from the burns all her life.

Assessing the total damages to be €75,844, the judge reduced the award by 25pc to allow for the contributory negligence, bringing the final total awarded to €56,883.

Ms Cekanova (30), of Windmill Terrace, Clonsilla, Dublin, had sued Dunnes over the accident with the jug, which she bought at the Blanchardstown Shopping Centre, Dublin, on December 5, 2015.

Dunnes denied all the claims and that the incident occurred as alleged.

It contended Ms Cekanova allegedly failed to heed a warning sticker on the jug which Dunnes said specifically states not to use hot water in the jug.

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