Category: Injury at Work Ireland

If you sustain an injury at work in Ireland for which you are not wholly to blame, you may be entitled to claim compensation. Many work injuries in Ireland are avoidable, and when an employer´s lack of care has resulted in a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition, you should speak with a solicitor about making a compensation claim. One of the major benefits of seeking professional legal advice is that the Injuries Board application for assessment provides little opportunity for you to express how your injury has affected your quality of life – are area which could substantially increase how much compensation for an injury at work in Ireland you are entitled to receive. Therefore you are invited to discuss the circumstances of your injury at work in Ireland with an experienced solicitor on our freephone Solicitors Advisory Panel.

Judge Approves Settlement of Compensation Claim for a Fatal Accident at Work

Mr Justice Kevin Cross has approved a €500,000 settlement of a compensation claim for a fatal accident at work made by the widow of a man killed in 2008.

Declan Byrne (31) from Ballyhaunis in County Mayo was working on the construction of a gym at the Connacht Sportsground in Galway on 30th April 2008 when the tragic accident happened. Due to the blockwork of the construction being at an advanced stage, Declan had chosen to use a scaffold and bottle jack – rather than a teleporter or a crane – to support a 1.4 tonne steel beam while he realigned it.

When Declan removed the last of the six bolts holding the beam in place, the beam fell on him – causing him to suffer fatal injuries. An investigation into Declan´s death resulted in charges being brought against his employer – CDM Steel Ltd – but the company were acquitted from alleged breaches of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act at a hearing of Galway Circuit Criminal Court in 2013.

At the end of the criminal hearing, Judge Rory McCabe was critical of CDM Steel Ltd for failing to have a construction supervisor on the site and for an “appalling lack of communication” that contributed to Declan´s death. Subsequently, Declan´s widow – Dolores – sought legal advice and made a compensation claim for a fatal accident at work against CDM Steel Ltd and three other defendants.

The defendants denied that their negligence had resulted in Declan´s death and the case was scheduled to be heard at the High Court. However, prior to the case being heard, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was informed that a settlement of the compensation claim for a fatal accident at work had been agreed amounting to €500,000.

Judge Cross approved the settlement and told the family that, although the settlement of the compensation claim for a fatal accident at work was a good one – and that he was happy to approve it – “nothing can replace what you have lost”.

High Court Hears Back Injury Claim due to Workplace Conditions

The High Court has heard a back injury claim due to workplace conditions, and awarded the plaintiff €415,000 compensation for no longer being able to work.

In January 2011, Mohammed Ali Saleh was employed as a slaughter hall man at the Moyvalley Meats factory in County Kildare. While working at the pluck station on 11th January, Mohammed twisted to put meat from a dead animal onto a hook and felt a sharp pain in his back. Mohammed underwent an MRI scan that revealed that he had suffered a prolapse disc and needed urgent decompression treatment.

Despite undergoing two operations on his back, Mohammed´s condition did not improve. He was diagnosed with failed bad syndrome and suffers from persistent pain in his back and legs, has an associated foot weakness, and can only walk with the assistance of crutches. Unable to work, Mohammed made a back injury claim due to workplace conditions against his employer.

In his legal action against Moyvalley Meats Ireland Limited, Mohammed alleged that he had not been adequately trained to perform his duties without conducting a twisting manoeuvre and that the company had not introduced a safe system of work. The company contested Mohammed´s back injury claim due to workplace conditions, and a hearing was schedule for the case to be heard at the High Court.

At the hearing, Moyvalley Meats told Mr Justice Kevin Cross that Mohammed had been given on the job training and that his injury was attributable to an existing back condition. However, an expert witness testified that no safe system of work had been implemented to avoid the twisting manoeuvre responsible for Mohammed´s back injury, and that the only training Mohammed had received was watching an operative perform the task for a short period of time.

Judge Cross found in Mohammed´s favour, and awarded him €415,000 compensation in settlement of his back injury claim due to workplace conditions. The judge explained that the size of the compensation settlement reflected Mohammed´s lost income and his past and future pain and suffering.

Dublin Man Awarded Compensation for Back Injury in Factory Accident

A man from Stoneybatter in Dublin has been awarded €46,000 compensation for a back injury in a factory accident after a hearing at the High Court.

Daniel Hanley (24) made his claim for compensation for a back injury in a factory accident after slipping of small pieces of granite that had been spilled onto the floor and falling at the Castolin Eutectic manufacturing plant in the Magna Business Park.

Daniel – who had been pushing a pallet truck at the time – was taken to hospital, where he received treatment for soft tissue damage. His injury caused him to have six weeks off from work, and his back still troubles him and prevents him from leading a fully active life.

Daniel applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of compensation for a back injury in a factory accident. However, Castolin Eutectic declined to give its consent for an assessment to proceed, and Daniel was given an Authorisation to pursue his claim through the court system.

The case was heard earlier this week by Mr Justice Kevin Cross, who listened to allegations that the floor surface at the Magna Business Park plant was not fit and suitable for purpose, and that Castolin Eutectic had been negligent by failing to implement a safe system of work.

Representatives of Castolin Eutectic argued that Daniel´s accident was due to his own negligence, but the judge also heard there had been a number of slip and fall accidents due to graphite spills in the period leading up to Daniel´s accident.

The judge ruled in Daniel´s favour – commenting that the company´s management had failed to implement safety measures that could have prevented Daniel´s accident. Judge Cross commented there was no suggestion that Daniel had been doing anything wrong or had contributed to the cause of his accident.

He added that, based on the testimonies he had heard, it was likely that there was at least a small amount of graphite on the floor at the time Daniel slipped and fell. Judge Cross awarded Daniel €46,000 compensation for a back injury in a factory accident.

Flight Attendant Brings Claim for Injuries due to a Bumpy Plane Landing

An Aer Lingus flight attendant has brought a claim for injuries due to a bumpy plane landing in respect of a November 2009 flight from Malaga to Dublin.

The claim for injuries due to a bumpy plane landing was brought by Cassandra Reddin (33) from Ratoath in County Meath who, on 19th November 2009, was a member of the flight crew on Aer Lingus flight EI582 flying into Dublin Airport from Malaga in Spain.

According to information provided in the claim, the Airbus 320 began to sway as it approached Dublin Airport and descended much faster than normal. When the plane landed on the runway, it bounced three times and did not stop as quickly as it normally would.

Due to the impact of the plane on the runway, Cassandra brought a claim for injuries due to a bumpy plane landing for whiplash-like injuries to her neck and back. She also alleges she feared that the plane would not stop before the end of the runway and that it was going to crash.

Cassandra applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of her claim for injuries due to a bumpy plane landing, but Aer Lingus denied consent for the assessment to proceed. The Injuries Board subsequently issued Cassandra with an authorisation to pursue her claim through the courts.

The High Court hearing started earlier this week with Cassandra explaining to Mr Justice Michael Hanna that the bumpy landing caused the overhead luggage lockers to open and luggage to fall on top of passengers. Cassandra told the judge “There was a degree of chaos and stress on board.”

Cassandra also gave evidence that, in addition to her soft tissue injuries, she had suffered shock due to the bumpy landing and had cried the whole evening when she had got home. She told the court that in her opinion the cause of the bumpy landing was the co-pilot´s negligence in failing to adequately supervise the landing of the plane. The High Court hearing continues today.

Electrician´s Claim for a Shoulder Injury against Iarnrod Éireann Settled during Court Hearing

An electrician´s claim for a shoulder injury against Iarnrod Éireann has been settled for an undisclosed amount during a hearing to establish liability.

Padraic Reddin (38) was employed as an electrician by Iarnrod Éireann at its depot in Fairview when, in February 2012, he was assigned the task of changing a front destination scroll on a Dart train. As Padraic lifted the replacement destination scroll up towards its mounting, he felt a sharp pain across his shoulders and upper body.

Although Padraic stopped what he was doing and rested for a while before completing the task, the pain continued and affected his everyday life. Padriac´s sleeping was disrupted and he also felt discomfort in his shoulder when performing relatively light tasks such as making a cup of tea. Padraic attended his GP, but the pain continued in his shoulder for several months.

Padraic also reported his shoulder injury to a superior, but the superior refused to complete an accident report form because of the passage of time there had been since Padraic had suffered his injury. Padraic sought legal advice and made a claim for a shoulder injury against Iarnrod Éireann.

Unfortunately, when Padraic sent an application for an assessment to the Injuries Board, Iarnrod Éireann refused to consent to the assessment of his claim. The Injuries Board subsequently issued Padraic with an authorisation to pursue his claim for a shoulder injury against Iarnrod Éireann through the courts.

The hearing to establish liability in Padraic´s claim for a shoulder injury against Iarnrod Éireann was scheduled to be heard last week by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court. At the hearing, Judge Groarke was told that a value of €38,000 compensation had been put on Padraic’s claim if it was successful.

The judge also heard that the destination scroll Padraic had been assigned to change weighed 10kg and it was situated at a height of 2 metres. It was argued that, to avoid the risk of injury, the task should have been assigned to two employees rather than just one.

Legal representatives of Iarnrod Éireann then requested a brief adjournment. When the hearing was resumed, Judge Groarke was told that the claim for a shoulder injury against Iarnrod Éireann had been settled for an undisclosed amount and that the case could be struck out. Judge Groarke awarded Padraic his legal costs and closed the hearing.

Farmyard Fall Injury Compensation Claim Settled at Hearing

A man who lost his senses of taste and smell in a farmyard accident has settled his farmyard fall injury compensation claim at a hearing of the High Court.

Con Oxley from Cullahill in County Laois was preparing to install light fittings at a barn on a farm in nearby Ballacolla when, on 11 August 2008, a plank suspended between two boxes cracked as he stepped onto it.

Con fell 2.5 metres (eight feet) onto the floor of the barn owned by farmer Mark Quigley, hitting his head on the floor of the barn and suffering brain damage. In addition to losing his senses of taste and smell in the accident, Con lost partial sight in his left eye.

After seeking legal advice, Con made a farmyard fall injury compensation claim against Quigley – alleging that the planks he had been provided with to navigate the barn had been unsuitable for the job and that Quigley had failed to provide any form of intermediate support beneath the planks to ensure his safety.

Quigley denied that he was responsible for Con´s injuries and the Injuries Board issued an authorisation so that Con could pursue his farmyard fall injury compensation claim through the courts. However, before a date for a hearing could be set, liability was agreed on a 50/50 basis – with Con agreeing to a €300,000 compensation settlement without an admission of liability from Quigley.

At the High Court, Mr Justice Kevin Cross said the agreement was a good one in the circumstances. Had Con´s farmyard fall injury compensation claim gone to a full hearing, the judge said, Con´s contributory negligence for failing to inspect the planks would have been called into question. Judge Cross approved the settlement and closed the case.

Daughter Successful in Claim for Death due to Exposure to Asbestos

The daughter of a man who died from mesothelioma cancer has successfully made a claim for death due to exposure to asbestos against two companies who previously employed her father.  

In December 2013, seventy-three year old Peter McCormack from Whickham in Tyne and Wear died from mesothelioma cancer – eighteen months after being diagnosed with the disease. Before he passed away, Peter had started a compensation claim for exposure to asbestos against two of his previous employers, and this was carried on by his daughter Elke after his death.

In the claim for death due to exposure to asbestos, it was alleged that the two employers failed to protect Peter from inhaling asbestos dust and fibres in the workplace, and it was due to the employers´ negligence that he developed the disease and died so quickly after it had been diagnosed.

In the claim against EON UK – for whom Peter worked as an apprentice and mechanical fitter – it was claimed that Peter worked alongside laggers who mixed up asbestos without any protection before applying it to pipes and other fittings.

The claim for death due to exposure to asbestos also named OSG Ship Management as being negligent, as Peter had worked as an engineer aboard the company´s ships – repairing pipes that had been lagged with asbestos. It was also alleged that there was asbestos dust on surfaces of the ships which, when disturbed, entered the atmosphere and was inhaled by company´s employees.

After a prolonged period of negotiation, the claim for death due to exposure to asbestos was eventually resolved, with insurers for the two companies agreeing to a six-figure settlement. The settlement will be shared by Elke and her sister Natalie, who said: “Hopefully, this settlement will highlight to employers the need to protect people from exposure to asbestos, so other families do not have to watch their loved ones deteriorate so quickly.”

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”.

Compensation for Fatal Farm Accident Agreed before Court Hearing

A family´s claim for compensation for a fatal farm accident was resolved shortly before a hearing into the case was about to commence at the High Court.

Seamus Miley from Dunlavin in County Wicklow – died on May 24th 2007 when a six-tonne dumper truck he was driving on the Ardenode Stud Farm in Ballymore Eustace, County Kildare overturned as it descended a steep hill.

An investigation into the accident found that the roll bar in the dumper truck was defective and should have saved Seamus´ life. Seamus´ widow – Anne – claimed compensation for the fatal farm accident on behalf of her family and a separate compensation claim for nervous shock against Seamus´ employer and several other companies connected with the design and supply of the dumper truck.

The allegations of negligence were denied by each of the defendants, who contested that Seamus had been the architect of his own misfortune by driving the truck at excessive speed. No agreement could be reached on the outcome of the case and it proceeded to court, where it was scheduled to be heard by Ms Justice Mary Irvine.

However, before the court case could get underway, Judge Irvine was told that Anne and the Miley family had agreed to a settlement of compensation for the fatal farm accident amounting to €700,000. Judge Irvine was also informed that Anne had resolved her compensation claim for nervous shock for €100,000. The judge approved the settlements, sympathising that the family had to come to court in such tragic circumstances.

Dunnes Employee Awarded Canteen Slip and Fall Injury Compensation

An employee of Dunnes Stores in Clonmel has been awarded €82,750 canteen slip and fall injury compensation after a hearing at the High Court.

Twenty-nine year old Dorota Michalowska had been clearing tables in the canteen of her local Dunnes Store in Clonmel, County Tipperary, when – on July 14th 2011 – as she was pushing a trolley laden with dirty dishes towards the kitchen, she slipped on a frozen chip on the floor and fell awkwardly – sustaining a soft tissue injury in her knee.

Dorota´s left her immobilised for six months – and unable to work for thirty-five weeks – and after undergoing therapy to reduce her incapacity Dorota sought legal advice from a solicitor and made a claim for canteen slip and fall injury compensation against Dunnes Stores.

Dunnes Stores denied its liability for Dorota´s soft tissue injury – arguing that she had been preparing much of the food in the canteen throughout the day and, as it was most likely that her negligence was responsible for the frozen chip being on the floor, Dorota had been the author of her own misfortune.

Dorota´s claim for canteen slip and fall injury compensation was heard by Ms Justice Mary Irvine at the High Court, and after hearing evidence from both parties, Judge Irvine ruled Dorota´s favour on the grounds that had Dorota dropped the frozen chip herself – and then gone around the canteen loading her trolley with dirty dishes – the chips would have defrosted by the time Dorota slipped on them and injured her knee.

The judge noted that Dorota had two colleagues working in the canteen with her on the day of the accident and “on the balance of probabilities” in was more than likely that one of Dorota´s colleagues had dropped the chip and either not seen the hazard or neglected to pick it up. Consequently Judge Irvine ruled, Dunnes Stores were liable for Dorota´s injuries due to the negligence of its staff.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine awarded Dorota €82,750 canteen slip and fall injury compensation – commenting that it was likely Dorota would suffer from arthritis in her later life, and that the compensation settlement included a payment of €20,000 to account for Dorota´s future pain and suffering.

Man Receives Brain Injury Compensation after Fall from Roof

The High Court has approved a settlement of brain injury compensation after a fall from the roof of a house left a fifty-year-old man with permanent brain damage.

Paul O´Brien was working on the roof of a house in Bray on 18th July 2012 – his first paid employment since he lost his construction job in 2008 – when he went to descend from the roof as it started raining.

Paul attempted to exit the roof from a ladder which had been propped up against the side of the building; but, as he stepped onto it, the ladder slipped on the wooden decking it had been placed on, and Paul fell to the ground.

As a result of his accident, Paul suffered a significant head trauma and now has limited short-term memory. Through his wife – Sandra O´Brien of Glenealy in County Wicklow – Paul made a claim for brain injury compensation after a fall from a roof against his employer – Sean Lyons of Clondalkin, Dublin.

Paul claimed in his action that Lyons had failed to provide a safe environment in which to work and had been negligent by failing to provide suitable scaffolding or fall protection to enable him to work safely.

It was also claimed that the ladder provided was unfit for the purpose of descending from the roof safely, that it had not been fastened to the building, and that the combination of an unsuitable, unfastened ladder and the wet wooden decking on which it had been placed resulted in a dangerous hazard.

An out-of-court settlement of brain injury compensation after a fall from a roof was negotiated by Sandra and Paul´s legal representatives; but, because of the nature of Paul´s injury, it had to be first approved by a judge.

Consequently, the details of the accident were related to Ms Justice Mary Irvine at the High Court, who also heard that Sandra had taken a two-year sabbatical from her job to care for her husband.

The judge was told that the €1.5 million settlement of brain injury compensation after a fall from the roof of roofer´s fall from height injury compensation had been agreed out-of-court and that the family were willing to accept it.

Judge Irvine approved Paul´s settlement – commenting that had the case gone to court, Paul´s contributory negligence may have been a factor in the amount of the settlement. The judge then closed the hearing, saying that she sympathised with the O’Brien family.