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EC mom wins suit against Shoprite
Monday 6 February 2012
An Eastern Cape woman has successfully sued Shoprite Checkers after a box of frozen vegetables fell on her during a shopping trip, injuring her neck and shoulder.
On Tuesday, the Port Elizabeth High Court awarded 46-year-old Delene Minnie Adams more than R100 000 in compensation. She was originally suing for R300 000. It was in June 2008 when a tower of boxes containing frozen vegetables fell over in one of the aisles in Shoprite, Cleary Park, striking the PE mom on her right shoulder.
As a result, she sustained soft tissue injuries and whiplash.
Adams alleged that Shoprite staff had acted negligently when they failed to pack the vegetables away.
She said staff should have warned shoppers to be cautious around the unsteady stack of boxes.
Expert doctors testified that Adams had sustained bruised neck muscles, fibromyalgia (tenderness in the joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues), reduced movement of her right shoulder, neck and shoulder spasms, and pain in her right shoulder.
The mother-of-three worked at a battery factory and therefore spent most of her day standing.
She said she was also unable to sleep on the right side of her body and that she often woke up during the night to change positions. She could no longer carry heavy parcels or conduct some household activities.
Shoprite conceded the merits of her claim and agreed to pay for past medical expenses which totalled R14 000.
The cost of future medical expenses and general damages were to be determined by the court.
Dr Van Aarde , who examined Adams in February last year, testified that she had vertebral disc protrusions on her spine. Although he suspected this was as a result of the accident, he said it was possible that the protrusions were present prior to the 2008 incident. He said this type of ailment was prevalent in women her age. Van Aarde said regular physiotherapy would minimise the pain. To undergo physiotherapy once a month for the next three years would cost around R15 000.
Adams regularly took painkillers for her ailments and claimed this cost her R5000 per year.
She said the medication also caused severe stomachache. She added that she no longer enjoyed socialising and often had mood swings, which had a negative effect on her relationship with friends and family.
On Tuesday, Judge Elna Revelas ordered Shoprite to pay up more than R110 000 within 14 days.
The above originally appeared here.
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