Purcell v Tesco

High Court, 14th February 2018, Barrett J

Purcell, Anthony v Tesco Ireland Ltd and David McInerney [2017] IEHC 68

Tynan, Murphy & Yelverton – solicitors for the plaintiff

O’Rourke Reid – solicitors for the defendants


The plaintiff filed an appeal against the order of the Circuit Court for refusing the plaintiff’s application for the amendment of the personal injury summons. The plaintiff only wanted to include a statement that he had first felt pain in the course of stocking shelves. The plaintiff contended that his earlier submission was that he was injured by pushing trolleys. The defendants alleged that by way of the proposed amendment, the plaintiff was trying to introduce new elements, which could not be allowed.


Barrett J allowed the plaintiff’s appeal. The Court relied on the case of Smyth v Tunney [2009] 3 IR 322, where it was stated that facts might be added by amendment if they served to clarify the original claim but not if they were new facts. The Court held that it would allow the amendment sought by the plaintiff in the personal injury summons as the plaintiff’s main contention was the same that he sustained injuries due to the pushing of trolleys as alleged by him earlier.

The Court noted that the proposed amendment merely clarified that the plaintiff had first felt pain while stocking the shelves and not by pushing the trolleys, which he sought to rectify. The Court held that it did not see anything in the facts of the within application that could cause prejudice to the defendants.