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.

201511.10
0

Flight Attendant Claims Compensation for Injuries during a Landing

An Air Lingus flight attendant has given evidence at the High Court in support of her claim for compensation for injuries during a landing at Dublin Airport.

On 19th November 2009, Cassandra Reddin from Ratoath in County Meath was a flight attendant on flight EI582 from Malaga to Dublin. As the Airbus 320 approached Dublin Airport, the plane started swaying from side-to-side and, on landing, bounced three times before coming to a halt much further along the runway than it normally would.

The rough landing caused the overhead luggage lockers to open, and luggage to fall on top of passengers; who – according to Cassandra´s testimony yesterday at the High Court – were screaming in fear. “Safety documents shot out of their pockets; duty free broke in the overhead baggage and alcohol leaked into the cabin. There was a degree of chaos and stress on board,” she told Mr Justice Michael Hanna.

Cassandra told the court that the rough landing had left her shaken up emotionally and physically. Claiming that she had suffered shock due to the incident, and had cried the whole evening when she had got home, Cassandra also alleged that she had suffered soft tissue neck and back injuries similar to whiplash – subsequent to which she sought legal advice and claimed compensation for injuries during a landing at Dublin Airport.

Aer Lingus contested Cassandra´s claim for compensation, and her allegations that the rate of descent just prior to landing was three to four times what it should have been. The airline also disputes claims that the co-pilot was negligent in failing to adequately supervise the landing on the plane. Consequently, when Cassandra applied to the Injuries Board for compensation for injuries during a landing, Aer Lingus refused to give its consent for the assessment to proceed.

The hearing at the Four Courts continues tomorrow.

201510.24
0

Claim against Iarnrod Éireann for a Shoulder Injury Settled during Hearing

A former employee´s claim against Iarnrod Éireann for a shoulder injury he sustained while at work, has been settled during a hearing to establish liability.

Thirty-eight year old Padraic Reddin from Donaghmede in Dublin, was employed as an electrician by Irish Rail when, in February 2012, he was assigned the task of changing a front destination scroll on a Dart train.

As Padraic was lifting the scroll up towards its fitting, he felt a sharp pain across his shoulders and upper body. He stopped what he was doing and rested a while before completing the task later in the day.

However, the pain returned to disrupt Padraic´s everyday life and affect his sleeping. At one point, he was feeling discomfort in his shoulder when making a cup of tea. Padraic visited his GP, but the pain continued for several months.

Padraic also reported his injury to a superior. However, because Padraic had waited until two weeks after the injury to make his report, the superior refused to complete an accident report form.

Padraic then made a claim against Iarnrod Éireann for a shoulder injury and sent an application for an assessment to the Injuries Board. Iarnrod Éireann refused to consent to an assessment of his claim, and the Injuries Board issued Padraic with an authorisation to pursue compensation through the court system.

The hearing to establish liability in Padraic´s claim against Iarnrod Éireann for a shoulder injury was heard this week at the Circuit Civil Court by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke. At the hearing, Judge Groarke was told that the destination scroll Padraic had been assigned to change weighed 10kg and it was situated at a height of 2 metres.

Padraic´s legal representatives argued that the task should have been assigned to two employees to avoid the risk of injury, but before Judge Groarke could hear any more evidence, the parties requested a brief adjournment. On their return to the court, the judge was informed that the claim against Iarnrod Éireann for a workplace injury had been settled for an undisclosed amount and that the case could be struck out.

201509.26
2

Compensation Awards made by the High Court under Attack

A representative of the motor insurance industry has claimed that judges need educating about who pays for compensation awards made by the High Court.

The attack on compensation awards made by the High Court was made by Conor Faughan from AA Ireland, who was responding to the news that the average value of High Court personal injury settlements had increased from €227,000 in 2013 to €304,000 last year.

Mr Faughan said there was a need for judges to be educated so that they would understand that compensation awards made by the High Court are paid for by the country´s two million drivers. Although not strictly true (few road traffic accident claims are resolved in the High Court), Mr Faughan pointed out that the average value of assessments conducted by the Injuries Board had remained steady during the same period at around €22,600.

It has also been suggested that the increase in the average value of compensation awards made by the High Court could be due to changes made under the Courts and Civil Law Act 2013, which saw the minimum potential compensation level at which cases would be heard by the High Court from €38,092 to €60,000. Some observers believe that High Court judges are awarding a minimum compensation settlement of €60,000 when – prior to the increase – they would have awarded less.

Dorothea Dowling – founding chairperson of the Injuries Board, and the chair of the Motor Insurance Advisory Board – believes that plaintiffs are shunning Injuries Board assessments for higher compensation awards made by the High Court. Ms Dowling told the Independent: “The Department of Justice was forewarned well in advance. This is what happens when you increase the limits of the lower courts – it sends out the message that €38,000 is small money.”

Whereas Ms Dowling has a point, it is not a point that everybody shares. Earlier this year (In McGarry v McGarry) Mr Justice Bernard Barton criticised the government for not updating the injury compensation values published in the Book of Quantum since 2004. During the case, Judge Barton acknowledged that for all practical purposes the Book of Quantum was being ignored by the courts because it was so out of date and commented “it is unquestionably in the interests of the proper administration of justice that the Book be reviewed and be kept updated to properly reflect [compensation awards made by the High Court]”.

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.

201505.19
1

Claim for a Fall in a Farmyard Barn Resolved at Court

A claim for a fall in a farmyard barn, in which the plaintiff lost his senses of smell and taste, has been resolved at the High Court with the approval of a €300,000 compensation settlement.

On 11th August 2008, Con Oxley – a self-employed electrician from Cullahill in County Laois – was rolling out electric cable in preparation of implementing a lighting installation in a farmyard barn in nearby Ballacolla.

As he stepped onto a plank suspended between two boxes to move from the first installation to the second, the plank snapped beneath him and he fell eight feet (2.5 metres) to the floor.

Con hit his head on the floor of the farmyard barn as he landed and suffered brain damage as a result. He now has no sense of smell or taste and is partially blind in his left eye.

After speaking with a solicitor, Con made a compensation claim for a fall in a farmyard barn against the owner of the farm – Mark Quigley – alleging that the planks he had been provided with were unsuitable for supporting his weight.

In addition to claiming that Quigley was negligent for providing materials unsuitable for the job, Con also claimed that Quigley had failed to ensure his safety by neglecting to put intermediary supports beneath the planks or any mechanism to arrest a fall.

Quigley denied his liability for Con´s injuries, and Con was issued with an authorisation by the Injuries Board to pursue his compensation claim for a fall in a farmyard barn through the court system.

However, before a hearing was scheduled, an agreement was made to divide liability on a 50/50 basis – with Con agreeing to a €300,000 settlement of compensation in return for Quigley not having to admit liability.

At the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the settlement of Con´s compensation claim for a fall in a farmyard barn – saying that the settlement was a good one in the circumstances.

The judge said that Con´s contributory negligence for failing to inspect the plank before stepping onto it would have counted against him had the claim for a fall in a farmyard barn gone to a full court hearing.

201504.01
2

Compensation Claims to the Injuries Board Remain Stable

The number of compensation claims to the Injuries Board remained stable throughout 2014 according to figures released in the organisation´s annual review.

During 2014, 31,576 compensation claims to the Injuries Board (2013 – 31,311 claims) resulted in 12,420 assessments being accepted (2013 – 10,656 accepted assessments) resulting in a total award value of €281.2 million (2013 – €243.5 million).

The discrepancy between the two year´s acceptance rates (2014 – 39% / 2013 – 34%) is attributable to a large volume of compensation claims to the Injuries Board being received towards the end of 2013 which were not resolved until 2014. The Injuries Board reported a slight decrease in the length of time it took to process an injury claim.

The annual review also revealed a slight decrease in the average assessment of an injury claim (€22,642 from €22,847), although there was a significant increase in the average value of a claim for an injury at work (€32,134 from €28,886). The largest single assessment was made for a claim for an injury at work – €972,898 being related to an employer liability claim.

Commenting on the figures contained within the annual review, Patricia Byron – the Chief Executive of the Injuries Board – said: “While the volume of new claims stabilized last year, the increase in the number of awards made by the Board is a clear indication that more respondents, typically insurers, are opting to engage with our low cost claims resolution service and recognize the real value of avoiding unnecessary and costly litigation where uncontested claims are concerned”.

Ms Byron continued: “2014 was an important year for us as we marked a decade in operation. As a result of our journey, personal injury compensation is now delivered in 7 months and at a processing cost of 6.7%, compared to almost 3 years and a cost of 58% for litigated claims. With over €1 billion in savings delivered to date and a ten year track record behind us, the benefits of non-adversarial claims resolution are unequivocal.”

201412.03
1

Inquest finds Man Died Due to Asbestos Related Cancer

An inquest has found that a sixty-five year old man died due to asbestos related cancer after being exposed to the deadly fibres when he was a teenager.

Charlie Glass from Ballinteer, Dublin, passed away at St Vincent´s Hospital in September 2013 having been diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer after a workplace accident in 2009.

Charlie had hurt his ribs in a fall at work, and had attended a VHI Swiftcare Clinic for treatment. X-rays revealed more fluid on his lungs than would normally be associated with a fit, working man; and, after the fluid had been drained, a CT scan detected the cancer.

Considered to be a candidate for radical intervention, Charlie underwent chemotherapy and surgery in London. He returned to Ireland and enjoyed several years of good health until the cancer returned and his health deteriorated.

It was while Charlie was discussing his diagnosis with his doctors that the link with asbestos came to light. At the age of 14, Charlie was cutting asbestos sheets for fire doors for Brook Thomas Building Suppliers. As the risks of asbestos were not so widely known in the 1960s, no protective clothing was provided and the workforce often ate their lunches in the vicinity of where the asbestos had been cut.

At the inquest into Charlie´s death, the Dublin Coroner – Dr Brian Farrell – was told that when Charlie was first diagnosed with asbestos related cancer, he had only been given eleven months to live, but managed to survive for more than four years. Dr Farrell also heard that both of Charlie´s siblings died due to asbestos related cancer, although in unconnected incidents.

Evidence presented from the autopsy on Charlie´s body revealed that “numerous asbestos bodies were identified in the lungs” confirming the diagnosis of disseminated mesothelioma. Dr Farrell returned the verdict that Charlie had died due to asbestos related cancer, commenting that it was very unfortunate that all three siblings had died from such a rare disease.

201411.16
0

Family Receive Compensation for Death due to Mesothelioma

The family of a man who died after being exposed to asbestos in the workplace is to receive a six-figure settlement of compensation for death due to mesothelioma.

Peter McCormack from Whickham, Tyne and Wear, died in December 2013 after an eighteen-month illness with mesothelioma – a cancer in the lining of the lungs caused by exposure to asbestos dust and fibres.

Prior to his death, seventy-three year old Peter had instructed solicitors to see if more could have been done to protect him from the health risks associated with asbestos during his employment at EON UK (1957 – 1962) and OSG Ship Management (1965 – 1997).

Peter claimed that during his employment with EON UK, he worked alongside laggers who mixed and applied asbestos lagging to new pipes and fittings, and while employed at OSG Ship Management (formerly known as W A Souter Ltd) he was again exposed to asbestos dust working as an onboard engineer.

Solicitors working on Peter´s behalf discovered that his role at OSG Ship Management had included repairing pipes and other metalwork lagged with asbestos, and that asbestos dust was prevalent on internal surfaces of the ships Peter worked on. When the dust was disturbed, it was released into the air and inhaled.

After Peter died, the claim for compensation for death due to mesothelioma was taken over by his daughter Elke (41) on behalf of herself and Peter´s other daughter, Natalie. Elke continued to work with the solicitors that Peter had engaged until a settlement of the claim was negotiated. The two daughters will now share an undisclosed six-figure settlement of compensation for death due to mesothelioma.

After the settlement was agreed, Elke commented “My dad was always an extremely active man, spending his time mountaineering, walking and cycling, but after his diagnosis his health deteriorated rapidly and was unable to do the things he enjoyed so much. The diagnosis also caused him severe distress and anxiety for his future”.

201407.10
0

Compensation for Heart Diseases from Asbestos Exposure

A recent study has revealed a connection between asbestos exposure, heart disease and strokes – potentially making it possible to claim compensation for heart diseases from asbestos exposure.

The study was conducted by the Health & Safety Laboratory (HSL) – a branch of the UK´s Health and Safety Executive – and published in the British Medical Journal. It concludes that employees exposed to asbestos are at greater risk of heart disease and strokes than the general population – with women more likely to be affected than men.

HSL analysed 15,557 deaths among 98,912 workers who had taken part in regular voluntary health monitoring and participated in the Asbestos Workers Survey, and compared the number of deaths from strokes and heart attacks among these workers against the number that would be expected to occur in the general population.

The Discrepancy between Male and Female Deaths

The discrepancy between male and female deaths – where exposure to asbestos had contributed towards a fatal heart disease or stroke – was significant.  Male asbestos workers (most commonly engaged in asbestos removal) were 39 percent more likely to die of heart disease and 63 percent more likely to die of a stroke; while women (most commonly employed in the manufacturing industry) were 89 percent more likely to die of heart disease and 100 percent more likely to die of a stroke after being exposed to asbestos.

There was evidence to suggest that the longer the duration of exposure to asbestos, the greater the likelihood of dying from heart disease or a stroke, and the report concluded that cerebrovascular and ischaemis heart disease mortality rates were significantly higher when there had been occupational exposure to asbestos.

Claiming Compensation for Heart Diseases from Asbestos Exposure

The process for claiming compensation for heart diseases from asbestos exposure would be exactly the same as claiming compensation for exposure to asbestos when a victim has been diagnosed with asbestosis or mesothelioma cancer. Provided it can be proven that the person who was suffering from heart disease or who had experienced a stroke was exposed to asbestos in the course of their work – or due to other environmental factors – it should be possible to claim compensation for heart diseases from asbestos exposure.

This new research will enable many victims of asbestos-related injuries to recover compensation and will allow them to seek the best medical attention to help them lead the fullest possible live. In tragic cases where the person exposed to asbestos has died, families are allowed to claim compensation for heart diseases from asbestos exposure on the victim´s behalf; although the successful conclusion of the claim may depend on being able to locate witnesses who can confirm the presence of asbestos in the workplace.

In all circumstances in which an illness or the death of a loved one is attributable to the exposure to asbestos, it is advisable to discuss eligibility for claiming compensation for heart diseases from asbestos exposure with a solicitor at the earliest practical opportunity.

201406.09
0

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.

201405.06
0

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.

201402.10
0

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.

201401.30
1

Claim for Fall from Ladder at Work Resolved after Hearing

A woman who suffered a dislocated wrist in a workplace accident has been awarded €25,000 compensation after her claim for a fall from a ladder at work was resolved at the Circuit Civil Court.

In February 2007, Nicola Starmer from Ballynakill Downs in Waterford was working at the Argos store in Great George´s Street, Waterford, when she went into the store´s stockroom to collect goods to deliver to a customer.

As the goods were stacked high on a shelf, Nicola (42) used a ladder in order to reach them. As she was descending the ladder with the goods under her arm, she fell backwards and landed on her right forearm.

Nicola was initially unaware that she had suffered an injury, but during the day a pain in her forearm developed and she attended the Accident & Emergency department of her local hospital where x-rays revealed a dislocated wrist.

Doctors stabilised the wrist injury by inserting pins and Nicola was discharged from hospital with an above-the-elbow plaster cast. Unfortunately Nicola´s injury prevented her from continuing in her temporary position as a front-of-house assistant.

Nicola sought legal advice and, after speaking with a solicitor, made a compensation claim for a fall from a ladder at work. The store denied its liability for Nicola´s injuries and the case went before Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court.

At the hearing Judge Groake was told by Argos´ legal representatives that Nicola had been trained on how to use a ladder and that the company should not be held responsible for her injuries.

However, Nicola´s solicitor told the judge that the ladder safety training had been conducted by Nicola being shown a DVD – rather than Nicola being given a practical demonstration – and that she had never been trained on safety procedures in the stockroom.

After hearing that Nicola attempted to collect the goods only because the store was short-staffed, the judge found in her favour and awarded her €25,000 in settlement of her claim for a fall from a ladder at work.

201401.11
0

Court Adjourns Inquest into Fatal Accident on Cherry Picker

A Cork coroner´s inquest into the death of Frank McGrath – who died in a fatal accident on a cherry picker – has been adjourned pending a report by the Health & Safety Authority (HSA).

Frank McGrath (58) – a member of the governing body at University College Cork (UCC) – died on March 5th last year in a fatal accident on a cherry picker. No details of the accident have yet been released, other than Frank died of extensive injuries die to a “blunt force trauma”.

Frank had been employed by UCC in their maintenance and engineering section for twenty-seven years and, on the night of the accident, had been attending to the lighting systems on the college campus. Frank died at the scene despite frantic efforts to save him by staff and paramedics.

An investigation into the fatal accident on a cherry picker was launched by the HSA under the Safety and Welfare at Work Act, lead by HSA Inspector Michael O´Flynn. Mr O´Flynn told the coroner – Dr Myra Cullinane – that the investigation into Frank´s death was “complex” and was taking some time to complete.

Dr Cullinane adjourned the hearing into Frank´s fatal accident on a cherry picker until 3rd April.

A spokesperson on behalf of UCC said “Frank McGrath joined UCC in 1986 and was immensely popular among all staff. He was elected on two occasions to membership of the governing body, where he shared his wisdom, pragmatism and above all his loyalty to and pride in UCC. UCC is deeply saddened by the accident and (again) wishes to extend its sincere sympathy to his family and colleagues.”

201312.18
0

Judge Upholds Combine Harvester Injury Claim against John Deere

A Supreme Court judge has upheld a High Court ruling in a combine harvester injury claim against John Deere – one of the world´s largest manufacturers of farm machinery.

In June 1995, thirty-year-old Denis Scollard was working for agricultural contractors Thomas and William Wright, collecting silage for various farmers in County Limerick and operating a John Deere 6810 combine harvester.

While operating the combine harvester, a grass blockage occurred; and Denis attempted to clear the obstacle via the inspection hatch. However, as he was doing so, the fingers of his left hand were crushed when the combine harvester´s paddles came down inside the chute.

Denis made a combine harvester injury claim in 1996 against his employers and received €430,000 personal injury compensation. Thomas and William Wright then made a claim against the companies from whom the machine was leased and supplied to recover what they had paid to Denis.

AIB Finance & Leasing and Geary’s Garage Ltd – respectively the leasing company and suppliers of the combine harvester – in turn sought indemnity from John Deere Ltd who are the manufacturers of the combine harvester.

John Deere Ltd denied any liability for Denis´ injuries and argued that the accident could not have occurred as claimed as the paddles would not have crushed Denis´ fingers if he had followed the instructions published in the combine harvester´s manual.

Their defence was that there was no scientific basis to explain how the paddles could have moved if Denis had disengaged the engine of the combine harvester as he claimed he had. However, at the High Court in December 2007, Ms Justice Mary Irvine found in favour of AIB Finance & Leasing and Geary’s Garage after hearing evidence from two eye witnesses and a medical expert.

The judge ruled that John Deere Ltd had been negligent by “designing, manufacturing and selling a combine harvester with a design defect” and she ordered them to settle the combine harvester injury claim; commenting that Denis´ injuries would have been far worse if the engine of the combine harvester had been engaged.

John Deere Ltd appealed the decision, and last week the case was heard at the Supreme Court before Mr Justice Frank Clarke. After hearing the case again, Judge Clarke upheld the High Court verdict that Denis´ injuries were a foreseeable consequence of negligence, and ordered John Deere Ltd to reimburse the €430,000 paid in settlement of Denis´ combine harvester injury claim.

201311.15
0

Increase in Claims for Burn and Scald Accidents at Work

A press release by the Injuries Board has revealed a 50 percent increase in injury claims for burn and scald accidents at work in Ireland.

The increase is described as “worrying” by Stephen Watkins – the Director of Corporate Services at the Injuries Board – who, in the press release, compares figures from 2011 and 2012 during which time the number of accepted Injuries Board assessments in respect of claims for burn and scald accidents at work increased from twenty-eight to forty-two (1).

Mr Watkins noted that assessments with a total value of €1.33 million were accepted by plaintiffs over the two years, with the average compensation award being €19,066. He also listed the most frequent causes of accidents in the workplace which resulted in burn and scald injuries:

  • An overflow of hot or boiling water
  • Splashes from hot sauces and liquids
  • Acid and chemical burns
  • Clothing catching fire
  • Electrical scalds from faulty equipment

The highest individual accepted assessment over the two-year period amounted to €106,949 and related to a plaintiff who had been badly burned in an acid spill – but Mr Watkins commented that the highest frequency of injury claims for burn and scald accidents at work were made by plaintiffs working as caterers and cleaners.

It was also highlighted in the press release that tasks as straightforward as making a hot drink could result in a burn or scald injury at work; and Mr Watkins urged both employers and employees to be vigilant when in the presence of any substance or equipment that could result in a painful injury if a workplace accident occurs.

Earlier this year, the Health and Safety Authority published the results of their “Chemicals Usage Survey”, in which it was revealed that 67 percent of companies in Ireland who use chemicals capable of delivering a burn or scald had no formal training program in place to advise employees of how to handle such substances.

It was also revealed in the 2012 “Summary of Workplace Injuries” (published by the Health and Safety Authority that female workers are three times more likely to sustain burns and scalds in the workplace than their male counterparts, primarily due to the higher percentage of females employed in catering and cleaning.

(1) in 2012, the percentage of accepted Injuries Board assessments decreased from 37.2 percent to 32.7 percent – suggesting that there may have been a further 80+ injury claims for burn and scald accidents at work which were settled outside of the Injuries Board process.

201311.11
0

Court Upholds Claim for Dog Bite Injury Compensation

The High Court in Dublin has upheld a claim for dog bite injury compensation in favour of a postman who was bitten on the face while attempting to deliver mail to a Kilbeggan address.

On 8th October 2008, sixty-three year old Joseph Dunne from Kilbeggan, County Westmeath, was delivering mail to an address in Kilbeggan when he was attacked by a husky-type dog that had escaped from the garden of the house through a hole in the hedge.

The big dog jumped up at Joseph and knocked him to the ground, where Joseph was clawed and bitten by the dog. The attack was stopped by two passers-by – one of whom hit the dog across the back with a stick – and Joseph was taken to hospital, were he was treated for lacerations to his face.

Mr Justice Michael Moriarty at the High Court in Dublin was told that Joseph needed 22 stitches to the right side of his face and treatment for nerve damage which affected movement in his forehead. The judge also heard that Joseph later underwent plastic surgery to disguise the worst of the scarring from the attack.

Joseph returned to work soon after the incident and after receiving legal advice  made a claim for dog bite injury compensation against the couple who owned the husky – Olive Dalton and Martin Maher of Kilbeggan – claiming that they had been negligent in failing to enclose their garden securely and allowing the dog to escape.

The couple denied their liability for Joseph´s injuries – despite having had the dog put down the day after the attack – but, at the High Court, Mr Justice Michael Moriarty ruled in Joseph´s favour and awarded him €55,000 in settlement of his claim for dog bite injury compensation; commenting that Joseph had been brave to return to work so soon after such a particularly frightening incident.

201311.04
0

HSA Warns About Slips and Falls in the Workplace

The Health and Safety Authority has issued a warning about slips and falls in the workplace after more than €22 million was awarded last year in workplace slip and fall injury compensation.

The warning came in a statement made to the press by Martin O´Halloran – Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority – in response to figures released by the Injuries Board that showed there were 807 assessments of injury compensation for injuries at work accepted in 2012 amounting to €22 million (1).

More than one third of the accepted assessments of injury compensation for workplace accidents were attributable to avoidable slips and falls in the workplace, and Mr O´Halloran urged employers to take better precautions against such preventable injuries.

He referred to research in which it was indicated that employees take less care than they should at work because of the employer´s responsibility to prevent slips and trips, and because of bad practices developed at home – especially when working at height.

Mr O´Halloran revealed that a quarter of all workplaces surveyed by HSA inspectors last year had not conducted a risk assessment to assess the dangers of slips and falls in the workplace, and that two of the highest accepted assessments of compensation for slips and falls in the workplaces related to preventable fatal accidents.

Other statistics related to compensation claims for accidents at work included:

  • The average award for a workplace accident was €27,286. The average award for men was slightly higher at €27,657, while women received an average award of €26,456.
  • Men are twice as likely as women to sustain a workplace injury with men accounting for 69 percent and women 31 percent of the accepted assessments for slips and falls in the workplace.
  • The majority of awards were to workers in the 25 to 34 age group (32.2%) while over 1 in 5 (22.6%) were in the 35 to 44 age bracket. The vast majority of awards (82.6%) were under €38,000.
  • For the second consecutive year, Thursday was the most common day for workplace accidents while the least number of accidents occurred on Sunday. July saw the highest number of accidents in 2012.
  • Slips, trips and falls were the most common accident type accounting for one third (33.6%) of all awards for workplace accidents.

Mr O’Halloran concluded by saying “Effective management of workplace safety and health not only protects workers from injury and ill-health, but also has the potential to save businesses thousands of euro. Proper management of workplace safety and health contributes to long-term commercial success and profitability. I would urge all business owners and directors to take some time this week to consider the safety systems they have in place and make sure not to leave anything to chance”.

(1) It should be noted that, in 2012, less than one-third of assessments made by the Injuries Board were accepted – indicating that the number of compensation claims for slips and falls in the workplace would likely be approaching 2,500.

201310.26
0

Claim for Compensation for a Head Injury at Work Resolved at High Court Hearing

A man, who suffered a severe life-changing trauma when a meat conveyor bench fell on him, has settled his claim for compensation for a head injury at work.

The plaintiff worked as a knife washer in the AIBP meat processing factory in Cahir, County Tipperary, when, in May 2007, he was instructed to assist a colleague who has loading a meat conveyor bench onto two trolleys in order to move it elsewhere within the processing plant.

As the employee and his colleague loaded the meat conveyor bench onto the trolleys, the bench slipped and fell on him while he was crouching beneath it; striking him on the head and causing a severe head trauma. The employee received hospital treatment immediately following the accident but, because of the nature of his injury, the High Court heard that he has not been able to work since.

A claim for compensation for a head injury at work was made by the plaintiff after seeking legal advice. It was alleged in the claim that he had been asked to perform a task for which he had not been trained or instructed adequately and, because of his employer´s negligence, he had suffered the injury.

AIPB denied its responsibility for the employee´s head injury and claimed that the accident had occurred because of his own lack of care. However solicitors representing the employee pursued his claim for compensation for a head injury at work and the case went before Mr Justice Iarflaith O’Neill at the High Court.

After hearing testimony from both parties, Mr Justice Iarflaith O’Neill found in the plaintiff´s favour and said that he believed his account of how the meat conveyor bench accident had occurred. The judge commented that the accident had a major impact on the employee´s quality of life, but that AIBP had adopted an “antagonistic approach” to his situation.

The judge also criticised AIBP for recording a “trivialised and an inaccurate account” of the accident into the company’s accident reporting system and chastised the defence´s counsel for suggesting that the injured employee had been “malingering” since 2007. Awarding the plaintiff €257,000 in settlement of his claim for compensation for a head injury at work, Mr Justice Iarflaith O’Neill commented that the defendants had got this case “completely wrong”.

201310.03
0

Injuries Board Claims Rise by 10 Percent

Injuries Board claims and applications for the assessment of personal injury compensation have risen by 10 percent in the first six months of 2013 according to a report published on injuriesboard.ie.

The analysis of Injuries Board Claims to June 2013 shows that the number of applications for the assessment of personal injury compensation received by the government body rose from 14,685 in the first six months of 2012 to 16,162 in the corresponding period of 2013 – an increase of just over 10 percent.

The total value of accepted assessments and the average value of Injuries Board claims also rose (by 8 percent and 4 percent respectively), predominantly due to a small number of exceptionally high claims assessments – one in particular (for €976,000) being the highest-ever assessment of personal injury compensation made by the Injuries Board.

The number of Injuries Board claims assessments accepted by plaintiffs also increased from 5,180 in 2012 to 5,286 in 2013; but this represented a substantial decrease in the percentage of Injuries Board assessments accepted (32.7 percent from 37.2 percent), indicating that more claims for personal injury compensation are being resolved by direct negotiation and court action.

As with previous years, Injuries Board claims for road traffic accidents accounted for the highest proportion of applications for assessment submitted to the Injuries Board (75.5 percent), while the proportion of claims for injuries sustained at work continued to decline (8.1 percent). The balance of Injuries Board claims was in respect of public liability claims and product liability claims.

Patricia Byron – CEO of the Injuries Board in Ireland – commented that the higher volume of claims and increased value of accepted compensation assessments did not provide an excuse for insurance companies to increase the premiums they charge. She said that, as the Board´s processing fee to respondents had been reduced from €850.00 to €600.00, the savings made by insurance companies should counter the increased value of Injuries Board claims.

For comprehensive information about compensation claims, please refer to this article.

201309.13
0

Compensation for Injury Caused by Broken Chair Awarded in Court

A Canberra woman, who made a claim for compensation for an injury caused by a broken chair at work, has had her claim resolved in court for more than AU$1 million.

Terry Anne Downie was employed as a team leader for the Community Information and Referral Service in the Australian Capital Territory when, in June 2002, she purchased furniture for her office from the ex-government furniture outlet – Fyshwick – including a chair for her own use at work.

In October of the same year, Terry Anne was sitting on the chair while using the telephone when two legs of the chair snapped and she fell to the floor. A co-worker who saw the accident said that she heard a loud crack and then witnessed Terry Anne struggling to get up.

Terry Anne was taken to hospital, where scans revealed that a bulging disc inflamed by the accident was in contact with a nerve root. Doctors were unable to fix the injury and Terry Anne – now 51 years of age – suffers from ongoing pain, mental illness, sexual dysfunction and a permanent sensation, described in court, of ants under the skin of her legs.

In 2005, Terry Anne was paid Au$190,000 in worker´s compensation for an injury caused by a broken chair at work but also made a private claim for personal injury compensation against the chair´s importer – Jantom – claiming that the product was faulty when it was supplied to Fyshwick. Terry Anne´s employers also made a claim against Jantom to recover the amount of worker´s compensation they had paid her.

At the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court, Judge Master David Harper found in favour of Terry Anne and her employer after hearing expert evidence that plastic moulding on the base of the chair had failed in a catastrophic manner when two of five supporting spokes had broken.

The judge said “Terry Anne has many years ahead of pain and depression. Her life is very different to the life she could have expected if it had not been for her injury. Her enjoyment of life, and the kind of life she is able to lead, have been altered immeasurably.”

He awarded her Au$933,030 compensation for an injury caused by a broken chair at work plus a further Au$112,000 in special damages to cover her medical expenses. Terry Anne´s employer was also able to recover the compensation already paid to Terry Anne and the costs of raising the claim for an injury caused by a broken chair at work.

201307.24
0

Compensation for Hydraulic Cable Accident Awarded to Binman

A binman is to receive €15,565 compensation for a hydraulic cable accident after being burned by hot oil and fearing he would be permanently blinded.

Kamil Kozlowski (30) from Part West Point in Dublin feared that he would be permanently blinded when a hydraulic cable at the back of the garbage truck he was emptying bins into burst, and sprayed hot oil into his face.

The incident – which occurred in July 2011 on Sandyford Road in Dublin – was quickly attended by ambulance men, who gave Kamil first aid at the scene of the accident and then took him to Dublin´s Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital.

At the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital, Kamil was prescribed eye drops after having his eyes rinsed of the oil; however, it was a month before Kamil´s vision returned to normal – during which time he continued to experience pain and was unable to drive.

Kamil made a claim for compensation for a hydraulic cable accident after seeking legal advice; claiming that his employers – Panda Waste Services Ltd of Navan, County Meath – had breached their duty of care by failing to maintain the truck to a safe standard.

Panda Waste Services Ltd admitted their liability for Kamil´s eye injury, but Kamil´s legal advisors and the company´s insurers could not reach a satisfactory settlement of compensation for a hydraulic cable accident and the case was brought before Judge Alison Lindsay at the Circuit Civil Court for the assessment of damages.

After hearing the circumstances of Kamil´s accident and details of his eye injury, the judge awarded Kamil €15,565 in compensation.

201305.16
1

Garda Compensation for a Broken Nose Awarded in Court

A 32-year-old ex-Garda, who was head-butted by a man he had taken into custody, has been awarded €27,400 Garda compensation for a broken nose in the High Court.

Julian Shanagher from Dundrum in Dublin told a Garda Compensation hearing at the High Court that in May 2009, he had been patrolling in Portlaoise, County Laois, with a colleague, when they came across a public order incident involving youths.

Ex-Garda Shanager told the court that, as the youths were asked to behave, one of them shouted obscenities at the officers and – as the youth was extremely drunk – he had been arrested, handcuffed and taken to Portlaoise Garda Station.

On arrival at Portlaoise Garda Station, ex-Garda Shanager tried to calm the arrested man, but the youth – described as “already very agitated” in court – became irate and suddenly head butted the officer in the face.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that the officer was taken to the Accident and Emergency Department of Portlaoise Hospital, where x-rays revealed a nasal fracture. Ex-Garda Shanager – who has now joined the Dublin Fire Brigade – was off work for a month due to his injury and in 2010 underwent rhinoplasty surgery to re-set his nose.

Judge Irvine was told by ex-Garda Shanager´s legal representative that the former officer still experiences pain and discomfort from time to time, especially in cold weather. Ms Justice Mary Irvine awarded him €27,400 Garda compensation for a broken nose against the Minister for Finance.

201304.25
0

Claim for an Injury in a Nightclub Heard in Court

A man who was injured while working as a security guard in a popular Dublin bar has given evidence at the Circuit Civil Court in support of his claim for an injury in a nightclub.

Longin Gasiorowski (31) was working on the door of the city´s Traffic nightclub in Middle Abbey Street on 16th July 2007, when a superior gave Longin permission to admit a man who had previously been known to cause trouble in the club.

Later during the evening, while patrolling the inside of the club, Longin saw the man arguing with another patron and attempted to summon colleagues to assist him but found that his radio was not working properly. Longin tried to restrain the man by himself but, while doing so, was hit on the head by another man wielding a broken glass bottle.

Longin was immediately taken by taxi to the Emergency Department of St James´ Hospital, where he was treated for multiple lacerations – one of them 3cm in length which left a visible scar behind his ear. Longin was detained in hospital overnight and discharged the following morning with his wounds sutured and his head heavily bandaged.

After seeking legal advice, Longin made a claim for an injury in a nightclub against the owner of the Traffic nightclub – Cyril O´Brien – and his employers, P&B Security Services Limited of Kilwarden, County Kildare; alleging that the two defendants had allowed the nightclub to open without sufficient security staff.

The two defendants denied their liability for Longin´s injuries but, after Longin had given evidence before Mr Matthew Deery at the Circuit Civil Court, the judge was told that the two sides had agreed a preliminary undisclosed settlement of Longin´s claim for an injury in a nightclub and he adjourned the case to allow the parties to implement the settlement.

201304.02
0

Increase in Staff Injury Claims against Dublin City Council

Settlements of staff injury claims against Dublin City Council have amounted to more than €2.3 million in the past three years according to figures released by Ireland´s largest local authority.

The figures do not take into account employees´ injury claims for compensation against Dublin City Council which were still outstanding at the end of the year – 155 in all – with 37 claims before the High Court due to their potential high value, 46 at Circuit Court level and 72 still in the pre-proceedings stage.

In 2012 alone, 65 staff injury claims against Dublin City Council were made of which 49 claims were settled for €1,001,370 (47 settled for €925,438 in 2011/42 settled for €465,647 in 2010).

None of the claims for staff injuries against Dublin City Council were processed through mediation or Alternative Dispute Resolution (ARD) – a fact which concerned independent city councillor Nial Ring.

Mr Ring, who himself is a qualified mediator, said “”I’m well aware of the benefits of ARD and I’m surprised that it hasn’t been taken up in these cases. Its benefits in terms of cost savings and speedy resolutions are well known.”

A council spokesperson confirmed that settlements of staff injury claims against Dublin City Council which were below €500,000 were paid out of city funds. “Mediation is used by the city council whenever possible” she commented. “It must be agreed to by all parties concerned.”

The volume and value of employees´ injury claims for compensation against Dublin City Council do not include the hundreds of legal claims from members of the public who claim they are injured in the city. Last year over €6 million was paid out in compensation to members of the public; with the average settlement of a claim just over €11,000.

201303.15
0

Compensation for a Cut Thumb at Work Awarded to Employee

A Dunnes Stores sales assistant, who suffered lacerations to her thumb from broken glass while removing rubbish, has been awarded €6,050 in compensation for a cut thumb at work.

Boguslawa Dzienia (38) from Galway made her claim for cut thumb at work compensation after sustaining her injury while helping to clear rubbish in the drapery stock room at the Dunnes Store Westside in Galway.

Boguslawa told Judge Matthew Deery at the Circuit Civil Court that she had been holding a plastic bag open while a colleague was putting another rubbish bag inside of it. However, a shard of glass caught the back of her thumb and lacerated it.

The court heard that Boguslawa had been taken to Galway University Hospital, where her thumb was x-rayed to ensure that there was no glass in the wound, which was cleaned and closed with glue.

However, Boguslawa had difficulty in writing and gripping objects because of her injury and, after seeking legal advice, she made a claim for cut thumb at work compensation against her employers.

Dunnes Stores denied negligence and liability for her injuries and contested the claim for a cut thumb at work on the grounds that the medical report had recorded a quarter of an inch laceration which required minimal care.

On hearing that the cut had healed completely, and the scar that remained could only be seen on very close inspection, Judge Deery awarded Boguslawa €6,050 in compensation for a cut thumb at work.

201303.14
2

Hotel Worker Finger Injury Claim Settled in Court

A cleaner at the Rivercourt Hotel in Kilkenny, who lost part of her little finger when it was severed by a door slamming shut on it, has resolved her hotel worker finger injury claim in the High Court.

Aneta Antoszcsyk (35) from Kilkenny made her claim for hotel worker finger injury compensation after losing the tip of her little finger on her left hand in a freak accident.

While Aneta was removing a wooden door-stopper which was keeping a door open in the hotel, the door shut with such force that it severed the top of her finger.

Unfortunately it was not possible to reattach the severed tip of the finger and Aneta – who was seven months pregnant at the time of the accident in April 2011 – will be left with a permanent disfigurement.

After seeking professional legal advice, Aneta made a claim for hotel worker finger injury against Gatehalf Limited (trading as Kilkenny Rivercourt Hotel) claiming that, as her employers, the company had failed to provide her with a safe environment or safe system of work and had exposed her to the risk of injury.

It was alleged in the hotel worker finger injury claim that Aneta had never been trained on the safe removal of door stops and that – as she was seven months pregnant – she should have had the assistance of a co-worker to deal with the removal of the door-stoppers.

The Kilkenny Rivercourt Hotel denied their liability for Aneta´s injury – claiming that she had contributed in whole or in part to her injury by placing her hand in a dangerous location while removing the door-stopper and displayed a lack of care for her own safety on this occasion based on her previous experience of carrying out the same task.

However, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith Ó Neill found in Aneta´s favour – stating that she had “sustained a most unfortunate injury” due to the negligence of her employers – and awarded her €50,000 in settlement of her hotel worker finger injury claim.

201301.31
0

Details of Garda Compensation for Assault Settlements Revealed

The total of Garda compensation for assault settlements paid in 2012 amounted to €6.7 million according to figures revealed under the Freedom of Information Act.

The figure brought the total value of Garda compensation for assault settlements since 2000 to over €13.4 million and, among the 121 cases detailed, the most common complaints were soft-tissue injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder and back injuries.

All the injuries sustained by Garda officers were as a result of malicious acts of violence and included a Garda who was struck on the head with a bottle, three cases where Gardai had suffered from depression after being threatened with shotguns and six incidents in which Gardai were injured by human bites.

The second highest ever award of Garda compensation for assault was made last year – a Garda receiving just under €790,000 for back injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder following an assault – but less than the €990,000 award made to a Garda who was shot in the knee in 2008.

Earlier this month, an award of €45,000 compensation for Garda injuries was made in the High Court to Garda Bernard McLoughlin, after he sustained injuries to his hip and leg after being involved in a ramming incident in which his friend and colleague was killed.

Commenting on the Garda compensation for assault settlements, John Parker – president of the Garda Representative Association – said “while the injuries contained in the Garda database were at the extreme end of the assaults suffered by Gardai during the course of their duties, they underlined the “high-risk work” of members of the force”.

Last year, the Government approved proposals for a revised Garda compensation scheme which would enable the State Claims Agency to administer the scheme on behalf of the Garda Commissioner. The proposals aim to reduce the length of time injured Gardai have to wait for Garda compensation for assault settlements and it is expected that the revised Garda compensation scheme will save the State about €3 million annually in reduced legal fees and administrative costs.

201301.29
0

Claim for Electric Shock at Work Resolved Out of Court

A baggage handler at Dublin Airport, who twice experienced electric shocks when attempting to attach a power cable to a Boeing 737, has resolved his claim for electric shock at work out of court.

Patrick Kemmy (39) from Blanchardstown in Dublin made the claim for an electric shock at work after suffering an injury while trying to connect the electric cable to the plane at Dublin Airport in April 2009. At first Patrick believed it was something that he had done incorrectly which led to the initial electric shock, but on a second attempt he received an even larger shock.

The accident at Dublin Airport left Patrick suffering from a tingling in his right arm – which he still experiences intermittently  almost four years after the event – chest pains, headaches, a shortness of breath and neck pains. As a result of the injuries sustained in the accident, Patrick has missed work nine or ten times.

In his action, he alleged that his employers Servisair and the Dublin Airport Authority had allowed him to use a power cable which had not been properly protected against the ingress of water which, as it was raining at the time, led to the electric shocks occurring.

Servisair and the Dublin Airport Authority denied their liability for Patrick´s injuries but, shortly before the claim for an electric shock at work was to be heard at the High Court, officials were informed that the claim had been resolved out of court.

How much compensation for an electric shock at work Patrick received was not revealed.