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Drunk attacks sales assistant, court awarded her over €70 thousand


Patslatt1

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Assistant wins €70,000 after shop assault (paywall). A drunk attacked the sales assistant in Guineys,Limerick with a bicycle lock chain because she refused to refund his purchase of the chain without a receipt. The High Court judge ruled that the assistant hadn't received adequate instruction in how to deal with aggressive customers and the shop was fined €70,000.
In the judge's opinion, it was negligent to limit a response to just politely telling the drunk that a receipt was needed as most people are told by a business at some point in life.
So what should the assistant have done? Police are trained professionally to deal with such violent characters by yelling at them to cease and desist,threatening arrest and by overpowering them physically with baton blows and kicks if necessary.
Presumably the judge doesn't expect shop assistants to act like police. So the only likely alternative is to train shop assistants in diplomatic approaches like "I feel your pain and know how terrible you must feel to be denied a refund without a receipt and I will try to see what my supervisor can do to help." There may be many other diplomatic approaches depending on the circumstances. So the shop assistant would need coaching in diplomatic language and in assessing angry and violent customers.
So now every business in Ireland with physical contact with customers should coach its employees for such confrontations.
As the writer Evelyn Waugh wrote in the 1960s, "the law will make criminals of us all".
 


rainmaker

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Assistant wins €70,000 after shop assault (paywall). A drunk attacked the sales assistant in Guineys,Limerick with a bicycle lock chain because she refused to refund his purchase of the chain without a receipt. The High Court judge ruled that the assistant hadn't received adequate instruction in how to deal with aggressive customers and the shop was fined €70,000.
In the judge's opinion, it was negligent to limit a response to just politely telling the drunk that a receipt was needed as most people are told by a business at some point in life.
So what should the assistant have done? Police are trained professionally to deal with such violent characters by yelling at them to cease and desist,threatening arrest and by overpowering them physically with baton blows and kicks if necessary.
Presumably the judge doesn't expect shop assistants to act like police. So the only likely alternative is to train shop assistants in diplomatic approaches like "I feel your pain and know how terrible you must feel to be denied a refund without a receipt and I will try to see what my supervisor can do to help." There may be many other diplomatic approaches depending on the circumstances. So the shop assistant would need coaching in diplomatic language and in assessing angry and violent customers.
So now every business in Ireland with physical contact with customers should coach its employees for such confrontations.
As the writer Evelyn Waugh wrote in the 1960s, "the law will make criminals of us all".
I'm a little confused, your title says they awarded her 70 thousand, yet your OP says they fined her employer 70 thousand?
 

Patslatt1

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I'm a little confused, your title says they awarded her 70 thousand, yet your OP says they fined her employer 70 thousand?
The title isn't clear on that point because of difficulties I had writing on my mobile but can't be edited.
 
Last edited:

Supra

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Currently launching my new Dealing with Confrontation in the Workplace training course. It'll last 3 days with a one day renewal each year. I'm lobbying Insurance companies to make it mandatory for employers to provide this training too.
 

petaljam

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The title isn't clear on that point because of difficulties I had writing on my mobile but can't be edited.
It can be edited by a moderator. What should it say? "Court fines her employer"? "court orders employer to pay her..."? (Bit long perhaps)
 

making waves

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It can be edited by a moderator. What should it say? "Court fines her employer"? "court orders employer to pay her..."? (Bit long perhaps)
Patslatt obviously didn't read the article because it behind a paywall and was intent on having one of his daily rants.
 

Patslatt1

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Currently launching my new Dealing with Confrontation in the Workplace training course. It'll last 3 days with a one day renewal each year. I'm lobbying Insurance companies to make it mandatory for employers to provide this training too.
Joking aside, that's where regulation is headed in our legalistic bureaucratic little country that generates as much red tape as big countrries. Hopefully in a similar case, the court's decision will be reversed. Any day now, some bartender will make a compo claim against a pub employer for assault.
 

Orbit v2

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It's all about tapping whatever organisations there are out there with deep pockets, for whatever you're having yourself.
 

Orbit v2

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Currently launching my new Dealing with Confrontation in the Workplace training course. It'll last 3 days with a one day renewal each year. I'm lobbying Insurance companies to make it mandatory for employers to provide this training too.
We should set up a quango to administer this: The Dealing with Confrontation in the Workplace training authority. The trainers (ie you) would pay the authority to be certified, but it wouldn't do a whole lot else except audit business for compliance with their legal training obligations. Would create loads of jobs. What's not to like?
 

Emily Davison

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From the article:

_____

A shop has been ordered to pay a part-time sales assistant almost €70,000 after she was verbally abused and assaulted by a customer.

(The judge) He was satisfied the sales assistant had not received sufficient guidance or adequate information on how to deal with aggressive customers.

However, the judge said that the guidelines in the handbook were not sufficient to have equipped the sales assistant to deal with the incident. Mr Justice Barton said it was reasonably foreseeable that a customer could react aggressively if denied a refund, particularly if under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Guineys had a common law duty of care to its staff quite apart from its statutory obligations, he said.

“It seems highly likely that had appropriate training, information and instruction been afforded to them the situation would not have escalated or would certainly not have escalated to the point where an assault took place,” the judge added.

He praised the plaintiff for her minimisation of her injuries, which he said reflected her good character, despite suffering a permanent scar on her face. The court was told that she had suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, as well as experiencing nightmares and flashbacks of the attack.

Ms Douglas gave evidence that she had previously been outgoing and friendly, but had become socially withdrawn. She knew within a day of returning to work about eight months later that she would have to give up the job and ultimately resigned in 2012.

____

Based on that I could have sued my parents for millions when I worked in the pub.
 

Emily Davison

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I'm a little confused, your title says they awarded her 70 thousand, yet your OP says they fined her employer 70 thousand?
The shop has to pay their ex employee the 70 thousand.

Based on the following figures from the article:

------

The court awarded her €40,000 in general damages for physical and psychological injuries and €10,000 for pain and suffering in the future. It also awarded her special damages of €18,636 for a net loss of earnings.
 

Orbit v2

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Idiot judge said:
“It seems highly likely that had appropriate training, information and instruction been afforded to them the situation would not have escalated or would certainly not have escalated to the point where an assault took place,” the judge added.
How could he possibly know that?
 

brughahaha

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How could he possibly know that?
He doesn't ...he just knows 2 things

1.This will encourage further mindless law suits ...keeping his mates in the Law Library in Cristal and Caviar

2. And with the payment a significant legal bill will be added .........keeping his mates in the Law Library in Cristal and Caviar

Our Judges are out of control and destroying businesses , they live in a fantasy land of awards , some seeming to delight in the ever more ridiculousness of the awards and their size

The legal eagles faced down Shatter , faced down the Troika and have the Dail in their pocket and love to flaunt their total lack of reason or accountability
 

Emily Davison

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How could he possibly know that?
This case isn't about that. At all. It's about who can pay. And if they pay, then everybody gets paid. It's known as the Irish compensation culture merry go round.
 

Orbit v2

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This case isn't about that. At all. It's about who can pay. And if they pay, then everybody gets paid. It's known as the Irish compensation culture merry go round.
Of course, but they have to cloak their reasoning in something that resembles logic and that was what passed for logic in this case.

What's going to happen when an employee has to deal with a customer returning something potentially more dangerous than a bicycle chain. Say you buy a new car and aren't happy with it. Will the sales person have to be furnished with full body armour in case you try to run them over? Or dangerous garden tools, like chain saws? Perish the thought.

They'll probably have to stop selling bike chain locks, in case a returning customer might try to garotte a staff member with one. You can't take a risk. It seems highly likely this would happen...
 

brughahaha

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Of course, but they have to cloak their reasoning in something that resembles logic and that was what passed for logic in this case.

What's going to happen when an employee has to deal with a customer returning something potentially more dangerous than a bicycle chain. Say you buy a new car and aren't happy with it. Will the sales person have to be furnished with full body armour in case you try to run them over? Or dangerous garden tools, like chain saws? Perish the thought.

They'll probably have to stop selling bike chain locks, in case a returning customer might try to garotte a staff member with one. You can't take a risk. It seems highly likely this would happen...

You may laugh ........ but then ask yourself why Irish apartment blocks have no play areas ,no swings , no sand pits , no slides unlike its European counterparts ...and thank the irish legal profession for their avarice and greed , which lead us here (and our bought and paid for craven politicians who let them)

The Irish legal profession , the black beating heart behind everything that is wrong with Ireland ......
 

Northsideman

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Currently launching my new Dealing with Confrontation in the Workplace training course. It'll last 3 days with a one day renewal each year. I'm lobbying Insurance companies to make it mandatory for employers to provide this training too.
Excellent but why stop there I'm sure we could come up with other courses on many issues and virtue signalling topics then we could aspire to spend 4 days a week on training and 1 day working. And sure when we get the 4 day week we won't have to work at all, really looking forward to that.
 

brughahaha

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Excellent but why stop there I'm sure we could come up with other courses on many issues and virtue signalling topics then we could aspire to spend 4 days a week on training and 1 day working. And sure when we get the 4 day week we won't have to work at all, really looking forward to that.

3 days a week on Training and 1 day working

Thats the new PS union plan , a 4 day working week.

Our Public Services are so quick and efficient with no backlogs anywhere in the system that they are seeking to work only 4 days.


 

cobhguy

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Jun 22, 2010
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Assistant wins €70,000 after shop assault (paywall). A drunk attacked the sales assistant in Guineys,Limerick with a bicycle lock chain because she refused to refund his purchase of the chain without a receipt. The High Court judge ruled that the assistant hadn't received adequate instruction in how to deal with aggressive customers and the shop was fined €70,000.
In the judge's opinion, it was negligent to limit a response to just politely telling the drunk that a receipt was needed as most people are told by a business at some point in life.
So what should the assistant have done? Police are trained professionally to deal with such violent characters by yelling at them to cease and desist,threatening arrest and by overpowering them physically with baton blows and kicks if necessary.
Presumably the judge doesn't expect shop assistants to act like police. So the only likely alternative is to train shop assistants in diplomatic approaches like "I feel your pain and know how terrible you must feel to be denied a refund without a receipt and I will try to see what my supervisor can do to help." There may be many other diplomatic approaches depending on the circumstances. So the shop assistant would need coaching in diplomatic language and in assessing angry and violent customers.
So now every business in Ireland with physical contact with customers should coach its employees for such confrontations.
As the writer Evelyn Waugh wrote in the 1960s, "the law will make criminals of us all".
If the employee was told that in such a situation, where they are afraid of harm, just refund the person because the employees safety should come before such a small amount of money. Then this would not of happened. The employee was more than likely assaulted because they were afraid if they did the refund they would be disciplined by the employer.
 

runwiththewind

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And person who assaulted the shop assistant walks away without any financial burden.

Great little country when the guilty walk off into the sunset and someone else must pick up the tab for their actions.
 

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