TWO SISTERS, WHO fell victims to a mock armed robbery during a staff training exercise in a Dublin H&M store, were today awarded €18,000 damages between themselves in the Circuit Civil Court.
The court heard that in March 2013 Abbie, 11, and Casie, 6, Kennedy were at H&M in Dundrum Shopping Centre, Dundrum, with their mother Claudia McGrane when the “terrifying” incident happened.
The family had been in one of the store changing rooms when they heard someone shouting “everybody get down on the ground, open the fucking till, get down on the ground, what are you looking at?”
The scene had continued for several minutes while the family was still in the changing room, and Abbie and Casie had been “terrified and in fear for their and their mother’s lives”.
McGrane, of Foxborough Road, Lucan, Co Dublin, had waited until there was silence to open the changing room door and look out, but she saw nothing. The family had remained in the changing room for several more minutes.
Judge Rory MacCabe was told the family went out of the changing room when they heard people talking in the store.
A store manager had later told McGrane that an individual had been training staff in the event that there was a robbery, and what they had heard had been a robbery simulation.
Later that day McGrane had called H&M head office in England. The court heard that a representative for the company had apologised for the incident and had offered McGrane a €30 voucher, which she had refused.
Through their mother, Claudia, Abbie and Casie sued H&M Hennes & Mauritz (Ireland) Ltd for personal injuries. They claimed the company had failed to ensure there were no customers in the changing area during the training course.
Judge MacCabe today heard that Abbie and Casie had been frightened and upset by the experience and had nightmares since the incident.
The court was told that H&M had made settlement offers of €10,000 for Abbie and €8,000 for Casie, which the judge approved.