A five-year-old boy from County Dublin has been awarded £6,300 (7,500 euros) after his mother successfully sued the Irish branch of supermarket Lidl for defamation of character.
Tadhg Mooney, 5, was accompanying his mother Rachel on a shopping trip to their local Lidl store back in June 2009 when he was falsely accused of stealing a packet of crisps. It was reported that a shop assistant grabbed Tadhg’s arm and temporarily imprisoned him in the store.
Upon noticing that her son had been held back and physically restrained, Ms Mooney produced a receipt for the items Tadhg was carrying and demanded an apology. The store assistant refused, so the enraged mother brought the matter before the Circuit Civil Court.
The Mooneys won their case for defamation of character, distress and inconvenience, and received a compensatory amount. Lidl first offered Tadhg and his mother a settlement of £2,100, but upped this to £6,300 when the Mooneys refused this offer on legal advice.
This case shows how even such a small matter as a misunderstanding can turn into an extensive and costly legal battle for the defending party. This is why professional indemnity insurance was invented, and why all major retailers now tend to have at least a basic level of professional insurance in place for situations like this.