201701.30
0

Man Awarded Compensation for Slipping on a Path at Work

A former sewerage plant employee has been awarded compensation for slipping on a path at work after a judge found him 40% responsible for his accident.

On 3rd February 2010, the former sewerage plant employee was working as a maintenance engineer at the plant in Templemore, County Tipperary, when he slipped and fell on sewerage that had overflowed from the flumes surrounding the inlet channels.

As a result of his slip and fall accident, the employee sustained a back injury that prevented him from returning to his job. He applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of his claim but his employers – Templemore Town Council – refused to give its consent for the assessment to be conducted.

The Injuries Board issued the former employee with an authorisation to pursue his claim for compensation for slipping on a path at work in court. The hearing to determine liability took place last week at the High Court before Mr Justice Raymond Fullam.

At the hearing, Judge Fullam was told that the employee worked alone at the now decommissioned plant, and his duties included cleaning the flumes and ensuring that the paths were free from hazards. It was argued that, by failing to fulfil his duties, the employee had contributed to the accident by his own lack of care.

Judge Fullam agreed that the employee should take some responsibility for his accident, and if he had needed additional tools to fulfil his duties, he should have asked for them. However the judge also accepted the employee´s evidence that there was an issue with the pumps at the time of the accident, and that he did not have the time to clean the paths.

The judge acknowledged that flumes surrounding the inlet channels were in a bad state on the day of the accident, but said that the employee had to take some responsibility for his accident and subsequent injury. He awarded the employee €79,000 compensation for slipping on a path at work, but reduced the award by 40% to €47,400 to account for his contributory negligence.

201611.15
3

Customer Awarded Compensation for a Knee Injury in Tesco

A customer, who fractured their knee when tripping and falling over a six-pack of beer, has been awarded €42,000 compensation for a knee injury in Tesco.

The customer – a thirty-two year old female nurse from Dublin – was entering her local Tesco Metro store in Terenure in January 2014, when she tripped and fell over a six-pack of beer that had been left on the floor by a customer waiting to use the self-service check-out.

The woman was taken to St James´s Hospital by ambulance and her left knee x-rayed. The x-ray revealed a fracture and the woman – who had previously undergone reconstruction surgery of the same knee – had to undergo two further surgeries and two and a half years of physiotherapy treatment.

Consent to conduct an assessment of compensation for a knee injury in Tesco was denied by the store, and the woman was issued with an authorization to pursue her claim through the courts. The hearing to determine liability took place last week at the Circuit Civil Court.

At the hearing, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard that Tesco´s was denying liability because the claimant had tripped over a brightly-coloured package of beer that had been placed on the floor just seconds before her accident. There was nothing that could have been done, Tesco´s argued, to prevent the accident.

However, the judge also heard that the layout of the Terenure branch of Tesco Metro meant that customers entering the store had to navigate through any customers waiting to use the self-service checkout. The judge commented that, if a better system of customer traffic control had been applied, it would have prevented this accident from occurring.

Judge Groarke found in the claimant´s favour, initially awarding her €60,000 compensation for a knee injury in Tesco, and then reducing the award by 20% to account for her contributory negligence. The judge said it had been an especially nasty fracture and it was still symptomatic almost three years after the accident.

201611.02
0

Passenger Awarded Compensation for an Accident at Tara Street Station

A passenger, who fractured his shoulder in a fall between a train and the platform, has been awarded compensation for an accident at Tara Street station.

The passenger was travelling on an Irish Rail train from Dun Laoghaire to Connolly Street in Dublin on 2nd August 2012, when he mistakenly got off of the train at Tara Street. On realising his mistake, the passenger turned quickly to re-board the train, but slipped and fell through the gap between the train and the platform.

The passenger – a fisherman from Dun Laoghaire – was able to climb back up onto the platform, get on the train and continue his journey to Connolly Street. On his arrival at his destination, he reported the accident to a member of staff. The following day, he attended St Michael´s Hospital complaining of a pain in his right shoulder, and an x-ray revealed a triple fracture.

The passenger applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of compensation for an accident at Tara Street station. Irish Rail declined to consent to the assessment and the Injuries Board issued an authorisation for the passenger to pursue his claim through the courts. The claim for an accident at Tara Street station was heard last week at the Circuit Civil Court.

At the hearing, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told that, despite there being “probably more CCTV cameras at Tara Street Station than there are at Pinewood Studios,” there was no recording of the accident. He also heard Irish Rail argue they could not be liable for a passenger who injured himself because he failed to look where he was going.

Counsel for the passenger said once he had purchased his ticket, there was an obligation on Irish Rail to provide safe transit and that obligation had not been met. Drivers were supposed to warn passengers to mind the gap and, despite there having been eleven previous incidents of passengers falling between the train and the platform in the past five years, no warning was given.

Judge Groarke found in the passenger´s favour – commenting that Irish Rail had an “absolute requirement” to warn passengers to mind the gap. The judge added that, although the passenger may have been distracted by getting off of the train at the wrong station, he agreed the passenger should have taken more care for his own wellbeing. The judge awarded the passenger €50,000 compensation for an accident at Tara Street station, but reduced it by 50% to account for the passenger´s contributory negligence.

201608.01
0

Settlement of Claim for a Scar from an Accident in a Creche Approved

A boy, who cut his eye in a fall in 2007, has had the settlement of his claim for a scar from an accident in a creche approved at the Circuit Civil Court.

In July 2007, three-year-old Calum Lawless was playing at the Happy Days Creche in Clonee, Dublin, when he tripped on an uneven floor surface and landed on his face. Bleeding heavily from a cut close to his right eye, Calum was taken to the VH1 Swiftcare Clinic at Dublin City University, where he was treated for a three-centimetre laceration with glue and steri-strips.

Calum´s eye remained closed for a week after his accident, and the area around his eye remained bruised for almost a month. Now twelve years of age, Calum has a permanent visible scar by his eye that – due to its location – cannot be resolved by plastic surgery.

Calum´s mother – Lorraine Lawless from Dunshaughlin in County Meath – made a claim for a scar for an accident in a creche on her son´s behalf against the owners of the Happy Days facility. In her legal action, Lorraine alleged that the creche had failed in its duty of care to provide Calum with a safe environment in which to play.

Liability for Calum´s injury was admitted, and an offer was made to settle the claim for a scar from an accident in a creche for €45,000. As the claim had been made on behalf of a child, the proposed settlement had to be approved by a judge to ensure it was in Calum´s best interests.

The case went to the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, where Judge James O´Donohoe was told the circumstances of Calum´s accident and its consequences. After hearing that the family were happy to accept the creche´s offer of €45,000 compensation, Judge O´Donohoe approved the settlement of the claim.

201607.08
0

Claim for an Accident at Dublin Zoo Resolved at High Court

A woman´s claim for an accident at Dublin Zoo has been resolved following a hearing at the High Court and an award of €105,000 injury compensation.

In June 2011, forty-three year old Gwen Kane took her family to Dublin Zoo to celebrate the birthday of her youngest son. As she was pushing her son in his buggy alongside the sea lion enclosure, Gwen slipped on a manhole cover that was still wet from the previous night´s rain and fell, dislocating her right ankle.

Gwen – from Firhouse in Dublin – was taken to hospital, where her ankle was put into a plaster cast. The cast remained in place for seven weeks, after which Gwen was on crutches for a further nine weeks until her ankle had fully healed. Despite being able to discard the crutches, Gwen still experiences pain in her ankle.

Gwen applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of compensation but, even though the Zoological Society of Ireland consented to the assessment, the Injuries Board figure was contested. Gwen was subsequently issued with an authorisation to pursue her claim for an accident at Dublin Zoo through the courts.

At the subsequent hearing at the High Court, Mr Justice Anthony Barr heard that the Zoological Society of Ireland had agreed it had been negligent by failing to clear rainwater away from walkways and viewing and that, as a consequence of her accident, Gwen was unable to continue her hobbies of Breton folk dancing, cycling and long-distance walking.

Judge Barr awarded Gwen €105,000 in settlement of her claim for an accident at Dublin Zoo – commenting he was satisfied Gwen had given a fair and accurate account of the consequences of her accident. In addition to the settlement for her pain and suffering, the judge also awarded Gwen €9,988 special damages to account for the financial cost of her injury.

201605.25
0

Claim for Slipping on Wet Leaves at Work Resolved in Court

A claim for slipping on wet leaves at work has been resolved at the Circuit Civil Court with the award of €25,879 injury compensation to a kitchen assistant.

On 19th November 2012, Ann Groves (58) was walking along a path towards the back entrance of the Baltinglass Hospital when she slipped on wet leaves and injured her ankle. Ann – who worked at the hospital as a kitchen assistant – was able to reduce the swelling with an ice pack and later attended her GP, who strapped Ann´s ankle for support after diagnosing a soft tissue injury.

Unfortunately the pain from the ankle injury continued. Unable to sleep, walk or stand for long periods, Ann sought medical attention from a number of specialists. She underwent sessions of physiotherapy and acupuncture before having a spinal cord stimulated surgically implanted in 2014; which although it helped with the pain, did not resolve the problem completely.

On her solicitor´s advice, Ann made a claim for slipping on wet leaves at work against her employer – the Health Service Executive (HSE). The HSE denied responsibility for Ann´s injury at work, contesting the claim on the grounds that a sage cleaning system was in place at the hospital, and that Ann had contributed to her accident and subsequent injury due to her own lack of care.

With no agreement on liability, the Injuries Board issued Ann with an authorisation to pursue her claim for slipping on wet leaves at work through the courts. The case was heard earlier this week by Judge Barry Hickson at the Circuit Civil Court, who was told that Ann´s accident had occurred early on a Monday morning after a particularly stormy weekend.

The judge found in Ann´s favour and dismissed the HSE´s claims of contributory negligence after hearing evidence from a maintenance engineer who testified that the maintenance team at the hospital started work after the kitchen assistants. The judge awarded Ann €25,879 compensation in settlement of her claim for slipping on wet leaves at work.

201603.24
0

Cabin Crew Assistant Settles Injury Claim for a Slip on a Plane

A cabin crew assistant, who was injured on a flight from Palma to Dublin, has settled her injury claim for a slip on a plane for an undisclosed amount.

Gabrielle McGovern from Blanchardstown in Dublin was working as a cabin crew assistant aboard an Air IOM flight from Palma to Dublin when, on 26th June 2012, she slipped on a discarded plastic rubbish bag that had been left on the galley floor of the 737 aeroplane.

Gabrielle sustained injuries to her back and shoulder when she fell and has since had to undergo lumbar surgery to repair the damage to her back. Due to the pain she still experiences in her back, Gabrielle has been unable to work as a cabin crew assistant since her accident.

Following a discussion with a solicitor, Gabrielle made an injury claim for a slip on a plane against Air IOM Ltd and Air Contractors (Ireland) Ltd. She alleged in her injury claim that the defendants had not provided a method of safely securing the plastic rubbish bags to prevent the risk of injury.

Air IOM Ltd and Air Contractors (Ireland) Ltd denied their liability for Gabrielle´s injury and contested her injury claim for a slip on a plane on the grounds of contributory negligence. Consequently, the case went to the High Court to determine liability. The hearing took place last week before Mr Justice Raymond Fullam.

At the hearing, Judge Fullam was told that plastic bags had been introduced to store rubbish following the sealing of the rubbish bins as a security measure and the storage of the plastic bags – both when empty and full – was an issue that affected all the cabin crew working on Air IOM flights. He also heard that the plastic bags occasionally split open, allowing rubbish to spill onto the floor of the galley.

However, before Air IOM Ltd and Air Contractors (Ireland) Ltd had the opportunity to present their defence against the injury claim for a slip on a plane, Judge Fullam was told that Gabrielle´s claim had been settled for an undisclosed amount and the case could be struck.

201603.15
0

Negligence Determined in Claim for a Workplace Accident at Dunnes

A High Court judge has found Dunnes Stores negligent in a claim for a workplace accident in Dunnes, made by an employee who fell down a flight of stairs.

Jean O´Reilly from Wexford was employed as a checkout operator at her local Dunnes Stores in Redmond Square, when – on 9th December 2011 – she lost her footing while reading the staff noticeboard and fell down a flight of stairs leading from the staff locker room to the ground floor.

Jean was taken to hospital by ambulance, where she was treated for soft tissue injuries to her neck and back. Jean had to wear a neck brace to support her head for the six weeks she was unable to work and also underwent a course of physiotherapy to help her recover from her ordeal.

After obtaining legal advice, Jean made a claim for a workplace accident in Dunnes against her employer –  alleging that the staff noticeboard was dangerously positioned too close to the top of the stairs and that, had there been a handrail of both sides of the flight of stairs, her fall could have been prevented.

Dunnes Stores contested the claim for a workplace accident at Dunnes and refused to consent to an Injuries Board assessment. Jean was subsequently issued with an authorisation to pursue her workplace accident claim through the courts process and her case was heard at the High Court.

At the end of the hearing, Mr Justice Raymond Fullam found in Jean´s favour. Judge Fullam ruled that Dunnes Stores had been negligent in two respects – for the dangerous placement of the staff noticeboard at the top of the flight of stairs and for the lack of a handrail on both sides of the flight of stairs.

Judge Fullam awarded Jean €81,500 compensation in settlement of her claim for a workplace accident at Dunnes – €65,000 general damages for her pain, suffering and loss of amenity as a result of her accident, and €16,500 special damages for her loss of income and the costs she had incurred.

201602.01
1

Dublin Bar Injury Compensation Claim Settled at High Court

A Dublin bar injury compensation claim has been settled at the High Court in favour of a woman who dislocated her thumb in a slip and fall accident.

On May 28th 2011, Sharon Kelly (44) from County Offaly attended a thirtieth birthday party at the Arc Café Bar on the Fonthill Road in Dublin. Shortly after midnight, Sharon crossed the wooden floor in the lobby area to go to the bathroom, slipped on some liquid spilt on the floor and dislocated her thumb as she fell.

In pain from her injury – which has left her with a loss of sensation in the tip of her thumb and a reduced pinch grip – Sharon sought legal advice and made a Dublin bar injury compensation claim against Lackabeg Limited trading as the Arc Café Bar, alleging that there had been a failure to monitor the floor surfaces and take corrective action when a risk of injury was identified.

Lackabeg Limited denied liability for Sharon´s injury, and contested the Dublin bar injury compensation claim on the grounds that the bar had a comprehensive cleaning system in place. The owners of the bar alleged that Sharon had been drinking at the party for more than five hours and was wearing four-inch heels at the time of her accident.

With liability contested, the Injuries Board issued Sharon with an authorisation to pursue her Dublin bar injury compensation claim in court. Consequently, the case was heard by Mr Justice Anthony Barr at the High Court.

During the hearing, Judge Barr was told that the liquid on the floor could either have been caused by a patron spilling their drink or water being walked out from the ladies toilet. The judge accepted the evidence of two other women that the toilets in the public bar had been in poor condition that night and complaints were made to bar staff.

The judge also reviewed CCTV footage of Sharon´s slip and fall accident, and heard that the bar had been particularly busy that evening due to a two-for-one drinks promotion to promote a televised Champions League football match. The judge said he was satisfied that there was liquid on the wooden floor where Sharon slipped and fell.

Awarding Sharon €90,000 in settlement of her Dublin bar injury compensation claim, Judge Barr said: “People cannot be expected to look at the floor when walking across a bar. She was entitled to expect that the floor was dry and it was safe for her to walk across it.”

201512.03
2

Judge Adjourns Approval Hearing due to Too Low Offer of Compensation

A judge has adjourned a second approval hearing on the grounds that the injury settlement he had been asked to approve was a too low offer of compensation.

In November 2012, Harry Ryan (12) from Swords in County Dublin had been playing on a local green, when he slipped and badly cut his lower right leg on a piece of broken glass. Harry was taken to the local VHI Swift Care Clinic, where he had eight stitches under a local anaesthetic, and steri-strips applied to help his cut heal.

Through his mother – Ita – Harry made an injury compensation claim against Fingal County Council and a settlement of injury compensation was agreed amounting to €3,000 without an admission of liability. As the claim was made on behalf of a child, the settlement had to be approved before the claim could be closed.

However, at the Circuit Civil Court last week, Judge James O´Donohoe refused to approve the settlement as he considered it too low an offer of compensation in relation to Harry´s injury. He adjourned the case for a week so that the two parties could reconsider the settlement, and a second approval hearing was scheduled for yesterday.

At the second approval hearing, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told that the offer of compensation had been increased to €3,500. Harry´s barrister told Judge Groarke that he was conscious of the recent dismissal of a similar claim in the High Court and that Fingal County Council had prepared a full defence if the claim went to a full hearing.

Having inspected the scar on Harry´s leg, Judge Groarke said that the value of the proposed settlement was still a too low offer of compensation. The judge said that an appropriate settlement should amount to €30,000 and he adjourned the case for another week so that Harry´s solicitor could assess the risk of taking the claim to a full court hearing.

Judges refusing to approve settlements when a too low offer of compensation has been made is happening more frequently. Insurance companies often encourage plaintiffs to accept inappropriate offers for their own financial gain. If you have received an offer of settlement, which you believe may be a too low offer of compensation, you should seek professional legal advice.

201511.19
0

Castolin Eutectic Employee Awarded Compensation for a Pallet Truck Accident

An employee of Castolin Eutectic has been awarded €46,000 compensation for a pallet truck accident in which he slipped and fell, and injured his back.

On 5th March 2012, Daniel Hanley (24) from Stoneybatter in Dublin was working at the Castolin Eutectic manufacturing plant in the Magna Business Park, when he slipped and fell while pushing a pallet truck. Daniel was taken to hospital with a back injury, treated for soft tissue damage and was off work for six weeks.

Daniel claimed compensation for a pallet truck accident against his employer – alleging that Castolin Eutectic had not implemented a safe system of work. Due to slipping on an accumulation of graphite spillage on the floor, Daniel also claimed that his employer had failed to ensure that the floor surface was suitable and fit for purpose.

Castolin Eutectic denied liability for Daniel´s injury, and declined consent for the Injuries Board to conduct an assessment of his claim. Consequently Daniel was issued with an authorisation to pursue compensation for a pallet truck accident through the courts. His case was heard this week by Mr Justice Kevin Cross at the High Court.

At the hearing, Judge Cross heard Castolin Eutectic argue that Daniel´s slip and fall injury was due to his own negligence. However, the judge also heard evidence that there had been a number of slip and fall accidents due to graphite spills in the week´s leading up to Daniel´s injury, and safety measures that were suggested to the company´s management were not put in place.

Mr Justice Cross said that there was no suggestion Daniel had been doing anything wrong at the time of the accident and, based on the evidence he had heard, it was likely that there could have been a small amount of graphite on the floor at the time. The judge found in Daniel´s favour and awarded him €46,000 compensation for a pallet truck accident.

201511.13
1

Judge Awards Compensation for a Slip on a Potato Wedge in Dunnes

A judge has awarded an injured shopper €22,900 compensation for a slip on a potato wedge in Dunnes following a hearing at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.

In November 2011, sixty-year old housewife Anna Manning from Clondalkin in Dublin was entering the fish section of her local Dunnes Stores, when she slipped on a potato wedge that had been left on the floor following an earlier spill and fell onto the shop floor.

Anna landed on her hands and knees, but the following day attended her GP for treatment to pains that had developed in her back and neck. Anna also sought legal advice and claimed compensation for a slip on a potato wedge in Dunnes.

Dunnes Stores refused its consent for Anna´s claim to be assessed by the Injuries Board and she was issued with an Authorisation to pursue her claim in court. The claim for compensation for a slip on a potato wedge in Dunnes was recently heard by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court.

At the hearing Judge Groarke was told that Anna´s slip and fall had aggravated an existing condition, and that she had also sustained a wrist injury that was having a negative effect on her quality of life. Dunnes Stores contested Anna´s claim, and argued that she had contributed to her injuries by her own lack of care.

Judge Groarke dismissed Dunne´s argument of contributory negligence and found in Anna´s favour. The judge commented that Anna was a “very poor candidate” to fabricate her story considering her previous medical history and he considered Dunnes Stores to have been negligent for failing to thoroughly clean up the previous spill.

Judge Groarke awarded Anna €22,900 compensation for a slip on a potato wedge in Dunnes, adding on the balance of probabilities that the potato wedge on which Anna had slipped had likely been a “brother or sister” of the wedges that had been spilled earlier in the day.

201511.04
0

Judge Approves Settlement of Compensation for a Broken Wrist on Holiday

A Circuit Court judge has approved a settlement of compensation for a broken wrist on holiday in favour of a young girl who was hurt in an accident in Spain.

In June 2014, the Budhe family from Clondalkin in Dublin were enjoying a holiday on the Costa del Sol in Spain. While the family were sitting beside the pool, six-year-old Sophia went to get a drink from the poolside drinks dispenser.

As she had seen other children use a chair to reach the drinks dispenser, Sophia also climbed onto the chair. However, the chair was wet from previous use, and Sophia slipped and fell – landing on her outstretched left wrist.

Sophia´s wrist began to swell the following day, and she was taken to the Accident and Emergency department of a local hospital in Benalmadena, where an X-ray was taken and a soft cast was applied to her wrist.

On the family´s return to Dublin, Sophia attended the Tallaght Hospital where a further X-ray was taken. The soft cast was subsequently replaced with an above-the-elbow plaster back slab, which Sophia was required to wear for several weeks.

Through her father Amar, Sophia claimed compensation for a broken wrist on holiday against the travel agent through which the holiday was booked – Linevana Ltd, of Lower Liffey St, Dublin – and also the tour operator – TUI UK & Ireland.

In the claim it was alleged that both Linevana and TUI UK & Ireland were negligent for not supplying a suitable and safe means for children to reach the drinks dispenser. Both defendants admitted their liability for Sophia´s injuries and a €14,000 settlement of compensation for a broken wrist on holiday was agreed.

Because the claim for compensation for a broken wrist on holiday had been made on behalf of a child, the settlement had to be approved by a judge to ensure it was in Sophia´s best interests. Consequently, at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told the circumstances of Sophia´s accident and the settlement that had been agreed.

Judge Groarke approved the settlement after hearing that Sophia had made a full recovery. The funds will now be paid into court, where they will be managed in an interest-yielding account until Sophia becomes a legal adult at age eighteen.

201510.21
0

Dublin Bar found Liable in Cut Hand Injury Compensation Claim

A Dublin bar has been found liable for injuries sustained by a painter and decorator after a hearing into a cut hand injury compensation claim.

David O´Keeffe (31) made his cut hand injury compensation claim after slipping and falling at the Woolshed Baa & Grill on Parnell Street in Dublin on 18th September 2011. David had been watching the All Ireland Football Final in the packed bar with a group of friends and, at the end of the game, he attempted to visit the bathrooms.

However, as he manoeuvred his way through the packed bar, he slipped on a wet area of the floor and fell – cutting his left hand on a piece of glass that was laying on the floor. David received First Aid behind the bar for his injury, and later attended the Accident & Emergency Department of St James´ Hospital, where the cut was cleaned properly and stitched.

Following his hospital treatment, David made a cut hand injury compensation claim against the Woolshed Baa & Grill, alleging that the bar had allowed uncollected glasses to stack up, which had likely fallen over and smashed and caused the piece of glass to be laying on the floor. He also alleged that spilled drinks remained unattended to and that the bar had failed to follow cleaning procedures.

The Woolshed Baa & Grill denied its liability for David´s injury, and refused to consent to an Injuries Board assessment of the cut hand injury compensation claim. David was issued with an authorisation to pursue his claim through the court system, and a hearing to establish liability took place last week before Judge Jacqueline Linnane at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.

At the hearing, the bar´s legal team argued that David´s injuries were due to his friends unsuccessfully trying to lift him up while he had a glass in his hand. The bar owners testified that the bar had followed its cleaning procedures on the day in question, and that an accident report had been filled out at the time that David slipped and fell, but that they were unable to locate it.

Judge Linnane said that she accepted David´s version of events, as the bar had been packed “to the point that one would not have been able to see that the floor was wet”. She found in David´s favour and awarded him €20,000 in settlement of his cut hand injury compensation claim.

201509.02
0

Man Settles Claim for a Brain Injury due to a Fall from a Ladder

A man who suffered life-changing injuries in uncertain circumstances has settled his claim for a brain injury due to a fall from a ladder.

On 22nd March 2011, Michael Brady (47) from Monasterevin in County Kildare had just started working for Philip Brady Building Contractors Ltd in Naas, when he was asked to clean some ivy from a gutter. Michael was working with his father that day – Philip Brady Senior (related to the owner of the company, but not the owner) – who left his son working at the top of a 16-foot ladder.

On Philip Brady´s return, Michael was found lying on the ground with the ladder still in position. Michael was rushed to hospital where he underwent emergency brain surgery. He has subsequently had to undergo neurosurgery and procedures to reconstruct his face. Due to his accident, Michael now has problems with his vision and needs full-time support for his daily living.

As Michael was not of a mental capacity to represent himself, a claim for a brain injury due to a fall from a ladder was made on his behalf by his father. Philip Brady Senior alleged that the ladder that had been provided for Michael was inadequate for the job, and that there had been a failure to provide appropriate support and safeguards to protect against a fall while the ladder was in use.

The construction company denied liability for Michael´s accident and prepared a full defence against the claim for a brain injury due to a fall from a ladder. However, shortly before a scheduled hearing was about to commence, the High Court was told that the claim had been settled for €1.5 million. After hearing the few details that are known about Michael´s accident, the settlement of the claim was approved and the hearing closed.

201507.09
0

Compensation Claim for Breaking a Hip in Dunnes Stores Settled at Hearing

A compensation claim for breaking a hip in Dunnes Stores has been settled in favour of the plaintiff following a three-day hearing at the High Court in Cork.

Seventy-seven year old Bernadette O´Leary from Clonakilty in Cork was shopping in her local Dunnes Stores on 2nd July 2013, intending to buy a waterproof canopy to protect her stall at the weekly farmers market, where she sold homemade cakes and other food items.

Bernadette located a small gazebo that she thought may be suitable and asked a shop assistant whether he knew if the gazebo was waterproof. The shop assistant said that he would ask a colleague, and told Bernadette to follow him as he went to find out the answer to her question.

Unfortunately, as Bernadette followed the shop assistant into the adjacent aisle, she stumbled and fell over a fold-up deckchair that had been removed from its packaging and was waiting to be placed on a display shelf.

Bernadette broke her hip in the fall, and was taken by ambulance to hospital – where she spent forty-eight hours on a trolley waiting for a bed to be available. After she was discharged, Bernadette discussed her injury with a solicitor and made a compensation claim for breaking a hip in Dunnes Stores.

The basis of Bernadette´s claim was that – according to Dunnes Stores´ own safety statement – goods should not be left unattended in an aisle because they were a hazard. However, Dunnes contested Bernadette´s compensation claim for breaking a hip in Dunnes Stores on the grounds that she should have looked where she was going.

As liability was contested, the Injuries Board issued Bernadette with an Authorisation to pursue her compensation claim for breaking a hip in Dunnes Stores in court, and the case was recently heard by Mr Justice Henry Abbot at the High Court in Cork.

After hearing arguments from both sides and watching a CCTV recording of the accident, Judge Abbot agreed with Bernadette´s counsel that “the defendant had invited the plaintiff into the path of a hazard on which she fell and was injured”, and awarded her €137,000 in settlement of her compensation claim for breaking a hip in Dunnes Stores.

201505.01
2

Dublin Airport Injury Claim Heard at Court

A pensioner´s Dublin Airport injury claim has been resolved at the High Court after the judge assigned the plaintiff 33% contributory negligence and reduced the settlement of her claim to €40,000.

On 2nd November 2011, Elizabeth Lavin (69) from Kilcullen in County Kildare arrived at Dublin Airport intending to fly to Manchester. As she was travelling up the escalator towards Terminal 2, the escalator juddered, causing Elizabeth to fall forward and hit her head on the moving stairway.

Elizabeth was taken to the Beaumont Hospital, where she received treatment for a head injury and minor lacerations. She subsequently has had to undergo orthopaedic treatment for pain in her head, arm, hip and knee – during which time she found it difficult to do household activities.

After seeking legal advice, Elizabeth made a Dublin Airport injury claim, alleging that Dublin Airport Authority PLC had failed to take reasonable care of her safety. Elizabeth also alleged negligence on the part of the Authority for designing the airport in such a way that the escalator was the only apparent practical means of access to the next floor for passengers with luggage.

Dublin Airport denied liability for Elizabeth´s injuries. They argued that Elizabeth had failed to hold onto the handrail of the escalator and had contributed to the extent of her injuries by placing her hand luggage in front of her, instead of behind her, as the escalator ascended. Furthermore, the airport claimed, Elizabeth had the option of using the lift.

When the Dublin Airport injury claim was heard at the High Court, Mr Justice Michael Hanna was told that Elizabeth was unaware that the option of a lift was available because there were no signs erected at the time directing passengers to the lift. The judge heard that these were not erected until 2013. Judge Hanna was also shown CCTV footage of Elizabeth´s fall.

After viewing the CCTV footage, Judge Hanna said that Elizabeth could not be considered to have contributed to her injuries for failing to hold onto the handrail or for placing her luggage in front of her, but she could have asked for directions to the lift from an airport assistant. He assigned her 33% contributory negligence and reduced the settlement of her Dublin Airport injury claim from €60,000 to €40,000.

201502.02
0

€1 Million Compensation for a Trip and Fall Injury Approved

A High Court judge has approved a €1 million settlement of compensation for a trip and fall injury in favour of a man who suffered a brain injury when he fell.

James O´Sullivan (32) was walking through the Muddy Hill Car Park in Mallow, County Cork, late in the evening of December 10, 2007, when he tripped over a base unit which was supporting a Heras fence at the boundary of the car park and fell onto wasteland below.

The fall – estimated to be between twelve and twenty feet – knocked James unconscious and he was taken to Mallow General Hospital before being transferred to Cork University Hospital to receive treatment for a serious head injury.

On his discharge from hospital, James sought legal advice, and made a claim for compensation for a trip and fall injury against Mallow Town Council, Denis Murphy, Kilpatrick Civil Engineering Ltd, and Groundworks on the basis that the unlit car park was dangerous and had exposed him to the risk of loss, injury and damage.

In his action for compensation, James – who lives and works in Mallow – alleged he suffers from forgetfulness since his accident, post-traumatic epilepsy and post-traumatic stress disorder. He also claims to have suffered a profound neurological impairment as a result of the accident.

The four defendants against whom James claimed compensation for a trip and fall injury each denied their liability. They also contested the extent of James´ injuries. Consequently, the Injuries Board could not adjudicate on his application for assessment and the case proceeded to the High Court.

At the High Court, Mr Justice Kevin Cross heard that a €1 million offer of compensation for a trip and fall injury had been made without admission of liability. After being told that James was willing to accept the offer, the judge approved the settlement – stating that it was a good one in the circumstances as if the case had proceeded, and the defendants´ contention was accepted, there was a risk that James might not receive such a large settlement of compensation for a trip and fall injury.

201411.20
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Child Awarded Compensation for Head Injury in Creche

A five-year-old child has had an agreed settlement of compensation for a head injury in a creche increased by 50 percent during a hearing at the Circuit Civil Court.

Five year old Madison Davis from Tallaght in Dublin was attending The Little Children´s Creche in Tallaght when, in April 2012, she went to place a cup on a table. As she did so, Madison tripped and hit her head on the corner of the table – the accident resulting in her suffering a deep laceration above the left eyebrow.

Madison was taken to the National Children´s Hospital, where the laceration was closed with steri-strips. She had stitches the following day under an anaesthetic. Unfortunately Madison was left with a 2.5 centimetre scar on her forehead which she will have permanently even if she undergoes cosemetic surgery in the future.

Through her mother – Jennifer Quinn – Madison claimed compensation for a head injury in a creche; alleging that she had been left to carry the cup and traverse the floor without adequate supervision and that Fettercairn Community Childcare Ltd – trading as The Little Children´s Creche – had failed to protect her adequately.

The owners of the creche admitted liability for the accident, and a settlement of €50,000 was agreed in compensation for a head injury in a creche. However, when the case went before Mr Justice Raymond Groake at the Circuit Civil Court for approval of the settlement, the judge found it inadequate for the severity of the injury.

Judge Groake described the scar as “nasty” and said he believed the settlement should be increased by 50 percent as it will affect Madison for the rest of her life. The judge adjourned the hearing in order that the two parties could discuss the revised settlement. On his return, Judge Groake was informed that a settlement of €75,000 had been agreed upon. The judge approved the settlement and wished Madison well for the future.

201406.26
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Woman Awarded Injury Compensation for Nightclub Accident

A woman has been awarded injury compensation for a nightclub accident at the Abberley Court Hotel in Dublin, but only after a judge ruled she must take 20% responsibility for her injury.

Sixty-four year old Rita Walsh from Tallaght in Dublin made her claim for nightclub accident compensation after tripping over a poorly-lit step as she made her way to the bathroom of the Level 4 Nightclub at the Abberley Court Hotel just as it was closing at 2:00am on the morning of April 4th 2010.

Rita injured her shoulder when she fell and, after seeking legal advice made a claim for injury compensation for a nightclub accident – alleging in her action against the Abberley Court Hotel that the management of the nightclub turned out all the lights as soon as the DJ stopped playing music, and that the step was impossible to see in the “pitch black”.

The Abberley Court Hotel denied its liability for Rita´s shoulder injury, and said that the lights had all been turned on as patrons left that evening. However, a forensic engineer giving evidence at court testified that the overall lighting was inadequate to clearly identify the step in question during normal club use, and that a recessed light in the step only made the step visible in the direction away from which Rita was approaching.

Judge Alan Mahon ruled that on the basis of the forensic engineer´s evidence, Rita was entitled to injury compensation for the nightclub accident; however he commented that he neither agreed with Rita´s allegations that the nightclub was “pitch black” nor that the management of the Abberley Court Hotel turned all the lights on as patrons left the club – saying it was most likely that management had only illuminated the nightclub after Rita´s accident.

The judge also told Rita that she must take some of the responsibility for her trip and fall injury, as she had admitted to drinking alcohol with her daughters prior to the accident. He assigned her 20% contributory negligence and reduced her injury compensation for a nightclub accident from €22,000 to €17,600.

201406.09
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Woman Awarded Compensation for Slip on a Frozen Chip

A canteen worker from Dunnes Stores in Clonmel has been awarded €82,750 compensation for a slip on a frozen chip which resulted in her suffering a serious knee injury.

Dorota Michalowska (29) from Clonmel in County Tipperary was pushing a trolley of dirty plates into the kitchen of the Dunnes Stores in Clonmel on 14 July 2011, when she slipped on a frozen chip and fell – landing awkwardly on her knee.

Dorota felt her knee swell up immediately and sought medical attention at once. Her injury was so severe that she was incapacitated for six months and unable to return to work for 35 weeks.

After seeking legal advice, Dorota made an injury compensation claim for a slip on a frozen chip against Dunnes Stores, alleging that her employer had failed to adequately warn their staff of the risk of frozen chips on the floor and had failed to provide her with a safe place and system of work.

Dunnes Stores contested Dorota´s claim; arguing that if there were frozen chips on the canteen floor at the time of her accident, it was most likely that Dorota had dropped them herself as she was working in food production that day and more than likely the author of her own misfortune.

Dorota´s claim for compensation for a slip on a frozen chip in Dunnes canteen proceeded to the High Court, where it was heard by Ms Justice Mary Irvine, who was told that two other employees were also involved in food production at the same time as Dorota.

The judge said the issue in the case was who was responsible for dropping the chips on the floor and, as the chips were frozen at the time of Dorota´s accident – while she was out of the kitchen collecting dirty plates – “on the balance of probabilities” it was likely that somebody other than Dorota had dropped them.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine awarded Dorota €82,750 compensation for a slip on a frozen chip in Dunnes canteen, noting that Dorota is at risk of arthritis in the future because of her accident, and including €20,000 for the pain and suffering she will experience in the future.

The judge also granted Dunnes Stores a stay in the event of an appeal, provided that the company pay Dorota €52,750 straight away.

201405.13
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Girl Awarded Compensation for Slip and Fall in Tesco

A nine-year-old schoolgirl, who was left with a permanent scar after she slipped and banged her head against a supermarket freezer, has been awarded €18,000 compensation for a slip and fall in Tesco.

Angela Prendergast was only six years of age when – in September 2010 – she was shopping with her mother at the Tesco Express Supermarket in Kilcoole, County Wicklow. As Angela and her mother were walking along the frozen food section, Angela slipped on a wet floor surface and banged her head against a steel freezer as she fell.

Although she was given First Aid by a member of Tesco´s staff, Angela´s mother – Ann Prendergast from Kilcoole in County Wicklow – took her to the local hospital, where the wound was cleaned and stitched with glue. Angela still has a two centimetre scar on the right side of her forehead to act as a permanent reminder of the accident.

On her daughter´s behalf, Ann Prendergast made a claim for injury compensation for a slip and fall in Tesco against Tesco Ireland Ltd. Tesco admitted that the negligence of their staff had been a contributory factor in the floor being slippery, and a settlement of €18,000 was negotiated between solicitors representing the two parties.

As the claim for Tesco slip and fall injury compensation had been made on behalf of a child, the settlement of compensation had to be approved before a judge before Angela´s case could be closed; and therefore the circumstances of Angela´s accident were related to Mr Justice Matthew Deery at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.

After hearing how Angela had banged her head, and seeing the scar that the little girl had been left with, Judge Deery approved the settlement of compensation for a slip and fall in Tesco, which will now be paid into court funds until Angela reaches the age of eighteen.

201405.06
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Court Resolves Injury Claim for Fall from Roof at Work

The High Court has approved the settlement of an injury claim for a fall from a roof at work, in favour of a County Wicklow man who suffered devastating brain injuries in the accident.

Paul O’Brien (50) of Glenealy, County Wicklow, was on the first day of a roofing contract on 18th July 2012, when he went to descend from the roof of the house in Bray as it had started to rain. As he attempted to get onto the ladder that was leant up against the side of the house, the ladder slipped on the timber decking floor it had been placed upon, and Paul fell to the ground.

Paul suffered a significant head injury in the accident, and now has limited short-term memory which will prevent him from ever working again. Through his wife – Sandra O´Brien – Paul made an injury claim for a fall from a roof at work against his employer – Sean Lyons of Clondalkin, Dublin – alleging that Lyons failed to provide a safe place of work or suitable scaffolding and ladders to enable him to carry out his work safely.

It was also claimed that the ladder that was provided to descend from the roof was unsafe and unfit for that purpose – it had not been fastened to the property on which Paul was working – and the combination of an alleged unsuitable ladder and the wet timber decking on which it had been placed presented a treacherous means of exit from the roof.

At the High Court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told that – prior to being given this temporary roofing contract – Paul had been unemployed for a number of years following the collapse of the construction industry in Ireland. She also heard that Sandra O´Brien had taken a two-year sabbatical from her job to care for her husband; but an out-of-court settlement of Paul´s injury claim for a fall from a roof at work had been agreed amounting to €1.5 million.

Judge Irvine approved the settlement, stating that it was a good one when taking into account that Paul´s contributory negligence may have been a factor had the case gone to court. She added that she sympathised with the position of the O’Brien family and then closed the hearing.

201405.03
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Compensation for Missed Knee Fracture Approved in Court

A young woman, whose opportunity to compete in the Special Olympics was denied due to medical negligence, has had her settlement of compensation for a missed knee fracture approved in court.

In May 2009, Amy Rose McGowan (now 31) was in training for the Special Olympics World Games that were scheduled to take place in the summer of 2011 in Athens. Unfortunately, while participating in a 50 metre training race, Amy Rose fell and hurt her knee.

Amy Rose attended Our Lady´s Hospital in Navan, where – after an x-ray had been taken – she was diagnosed with a soft tissue injury and her knee was strapped for support. However, a few months later, a pain started to develop in her knee and Amy Rose saw her GP.

 On inspection of her injury, her doctor discovered that Amy Rose had suffered a depressed fracture which had been overlooked at the hospital. Unfortunately the discovery was made too late for corrective surgery, and Amy Rose had to abandon her dreams of representing Ireland in Athens.

Through her mother – Charlotte McGowan of Trim, County Meath – Amy Rose made a claim for missed knee facture compensation against the Health Service Executive (HSE), alleging that the care, diagnosis and treatment she had received in the emergency department of Our Lady’s Hospital had been negligent.

After an investigation, the HSE acknowledged that the depressed fracture had been overlooked by hospital staff and liability was admitted for Amy Roses´ knee injury. A settlement of compensation for a missed knee fracture was agreed; but, as the claim had been made on behalf of Amy Rose due to her intellectual disability, the settlement had to be approved by a judge.

Consequently, Mr Justice Michael Peart at the High Court in Dublin heard how Amy Rose had previously been a successful swimmer and athlete before her accident and had won 34 medals and 10 trophies. Approving the settlement of €142,000 the judge said it was a pity Amy Rose´s athletics career had been cut short.

201403.12
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Man Settles Injury Claim for Fall Down Stairs of Pub

An eighty year old man, who suffered brain damage when falling down the stairs of the Stags Head in Dublin, has settled his injury claim for a fall down the stairs of a pub for €250,000.

Frank McHugh from Rathgar in Dublin had been enjoying an Easter meal with his family at the Stags Head pub in Dublin when, on April 24th 2011, he left the group to visit the bathroom.

As he descended the stairs to the toilets, Frank tumbled and fell – suffering a fractured skull and brain damage which left him in a coma. Due to the injuries sustained in the fall down the stairs of the pub, Frank has no recollection of the accident and will require permanent care for the rest of his life.

Through his son – Peter McHugh – Frank made an injury claim for a fall down stairs of a pub against Shelbourne O´Brien Ltd – owners of the Stags Head – alleging that there was a failure to provide a safe means of access to the toilets and that no warning signs of the alleged dangers were present in the stairwell.

Shelbourne O´Brien Ltd denied the claim made against the company – arguing that Frank had failed to descend the stairs in a safe manner and had fallen as a result of his own negligence. The company included in its defence CCTV footage of Frank taking the first step of the stairs and then tumbling forward.

At the High Court in Dublin Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that, although Shelbourne O´Brien Ltd contested the injury claim for a fall down stairs in a pub, the company had made an offer of settlement amounting to €250,000. The judge was told that the value of the settlement was a fraction of what a full compensation award might amount to, but the family had been advised to accept it.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine agreed that €250,000 would not go far in care costs, but approved the settlement on the grounds that it was unlikely Frank´s injury claim for a fall down the stairs of a pub would be successful if it went to a full trial due to a lack of evidence.

201402.10
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Chef Settles Claim for Injury on Team Building Exercise

A hotel chef has settled his compensation claim for an injury on a team building exercise after the hearing into his claim had already commenced.

In October 2006, Cathal Kavanagh (54) from Ongar in Dublin attended a team-building day organised by his employer – The Carton House Spa and Golf Hotel in Maynooth, County Kildare, where he worked as the executive head chef -at the Riverbank Arts Centre in Newbridge.

During the day Cathal and his colleagues from the four star luxury hotel participated in a series of events and games – one of which was a relay race in which Cathal was required to hop forwards and then run backwards. During the race, Cathal slipped, his foot went from underneath him and he broke his wrist in the subsequent fall.

After seeking legal advice from a solicitor, Cathal made a compensation claim for an injury on a team building exercise against his employer, the organisers of the day out – JikiJela Ltd of Tubbercurry in County Sligo – and Kildare County Council, the owners of the Riverbank Arts Centre.

Cathal alleged in his action that all three parties had been negligent by failing to ensure that the activities were safe and by failing to ensure that no danger would be present. The three defendants denied their liability for Cathal´s wrist injury and the Injuries Board issued an Authorisation for the claim to be heard at the Circuit Civil Court.

However, following the lunch break on the first day of the hearing, Mrs Justice Mary Irvine was informed that Cathal´s compensation claim for an injury on a team-building exercise had been settled and that the claim could be struck out.

201306.18
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Settlements of Childcare Injury Compensation Claims Approved

Two settlements of childcare injury compensation claims have been approved in the High Court following separate cases brought by the parents of children injured in childcare facilities.

The first claim for childcare injury compensation was brought against the Sandy Childcare facility of Dunshaughlin, County Meath, by the father of Ella Rogerson from Navan, who suffered a serious eye injury when she was hit in the face by a jet of water from a hose in June 2010.

Ella´s father alleged that the childcare facility had been negligent and in breach of their duty of care when the accident happened – childcare injury compensation claims that the operators of the facility originally denied.

However, at the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Michael Peart heard that an agreement of compensation for an injury in a childcare facility in the amount of €122,000 had been reached and, after hearing the circumstances of Ella´s accident and the injuries she had sustained, the judge approved the settlement.

The second of the childcare injury compensation claims concerned three-year-old Lauren Torpey, who tripped and suffered a deep laceration to her face when she fell against a sharp skirting board at the Giraffe Childcare facility in Harcourt Road, Dublin in June 2011.

Through her mother – Tara Lillywhite of Rathgar, Dublin – Lauren made a claim for childcare injury compensation in which liability for her injuries was accepted by the childcare centre and a settlement of €51,500 was agreed. Mr Justice Michael Peart, who was again sitting, approved the settlement.

201306.05
0

Court Approves Injury Compensation for a Trip in a Museum

The Circuit Civil Court has approved a settlement of injury compensation for a trip in a museum for an eight-year-old boy who suffered an eye injury in an accident at the National Museum of Ireland.

Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, heard how Bradley Kavanagh from Dublin had been enjoying a visit to the National Museum of Ireland with his grandfather when he tripped on a ‘defective floor surface’ and cut his head just above his left eyebrow.

Bradley – who was six years of age at the time – was taken by ambulance to the Temple Street Children´s Hospital, where five stitches were inserted into the wound while he was under a general anaesthetic.

Through his parents, Bradley made a claim for injury compensation for a trip in a museum against the National Museum of Ireland and, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told, an offer of compensation amounting to €18,133 had been made by the museum which the family were willing to accept.

After hearing that the cut had resulted in a permanent scar above Bradley´s eye, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke approved the settlement.

201305.23
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Judge Approves Compensation for Arm Amputation Accident

A High Court judge has approved a €1.5 million settlement of compensation for an arm amputation accident that resulted in a young child having his arm cut off by a lawnmower blade.

Conor Byrne (6) from Kilva in County Cork was just two years of age when the accident occurred in his aunt´s garden in Carrigogna in May 2009.

Conor had been playing on the patio of his aunt´s home while his mother was helping her sister plant flowers in the garden, but the little boy slipped down the embankment onto the lawn where his cousin was operating a drive-on lawnmower.

Despite the lawnmower having a protective guard shielding the blade, Conor´s right arm went under the guard when he fell and it was amputated just below the elbow. Conor was rushed to Cork University Hospital, but doctors were unable to re-attach the severed arm.

At the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Feeney heard that Conor´s father – Ciaran – had made a compensation claim for an arm amputation accident against his wife´s sister and her husband – Mary and Tom Keohane – and that a settlement of €1.5 million had been agreed.

The judge was also told that the value of compensation for the arm amputation accident had been calculated with consideration of Conor´s future anticipated losses and included the cost of adaptations to the family home in Kilva.

Mr Justice Feeney approved the settlement of compensation for an arm amputation accident after hearing that, despite losing his predominant arm, Conor was getting on well at school.

201301.21
0

Plumber Awarded Compensation for Broken Ankle at Work

A plumber, who broke his ankle after tripping over a stray wire at the Dun Loaghaire Golf Club, has been awarded €6,750 in compensation for a broken ankle at work in the Circuit Civil Court.

Barry McGrath from Fingals in Dublin had just finished working at the golf course in May 2010, when he tripped and fell over a stray wire as he went to leave the premises. Barry was taken to the now closed VHI Swiftcare Clinic at Dublin City University, where x-rays revealed a broken left ankle.

Unable to work because of his injury, Barry made a compensation claim for tripping over a wire at work against Cosgraves Developments, the mangers of the site. Cosgraves Developments denied liability; stating the wire was bright blue and easily noticeable.

However, at the Circuit Civil Court, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke found in Barry´s favour, stating that the wire should never have been there and awarded the plumber €6,750 in compensation for a broken ankle at work.