Accident at Work Compensation
In order to claim accident at work compensation in Ireland, it has to be shown that you sustained an injury which could have been avoided had it not been for the negligence of your employer. An accident at work claim for compensation is usually assessed by the Injuries Board Ireland, but it may be possible to get a quicker and more appropriate settlement of accident at work compensation by using the services of an experienced work accident compensation solicitor to approach your employer´s insurers directly. To find out if this would be a suitable course of action for your accident at work compensation claim, call our free help line and discuss the circumstances of your accident at work directly with one of our experienced Irish solicitors.
Posted: May 16th, 2017
A former mechanic has claimed the Defence Forces are not doing enough to protect servicemen and their families from air corps toxic exposure.
A former air corps engineer came forward under a protected disclosure agreement to raise concerns about prolonged chemical exposure at his former base. He has expressed concerns regarding the physical and psychological wellbeing of servicemen at the Casement Airbase in Baldonnel, County Dublin, due to the toxic exposure.
Addressing an assembly of senior Ministers, TDs, senators and members of the Defence Forces, the “whistle-blower” claims that the unprotected exposure to known carcinogenic and mutagenic chemicals -including dicholoromethane-was causing servicemen, their partners and their children to suffer illnesses – some of which were fatal.
The formed mechanic alleges that exposure to the chemicals had resulted in the premature death of up to twenty servicemen. He also claimed that five children of servicemen had died from cancer-related and birth defect-related illnesses and that many servicemen´s partners were experiencing fertility issues. He wishes the authorities to investigate the link between these tragic incidents and exposure to chemicals at the facility.
The State Claims Agency is already defending six air corps toxic exposure claims made in 2015 and 2016 by former servicemen suffering neurological issues. All six plaintiffs worked in repair and maintenance workshops at the Casement Airbase.
Furthermore, in October of last year, a Health and Safety Authority (HSA) inspection of the Casement Airbase identified health and safety issues related to the air corps toxic exposure claims and stated that the facility was “in need of immediate attention”. The HSA threatened to prosecute the Defence Forces if its recommendations were not carried out.
Following the most recent air corps toxic exposure claims, a spokesperson for the Department of Defence told thejournal.ie an independent third party had been appointed to review the allegations and it would be inappropriate to comment before receiving their report. A spokesperson for the Defence Forces stated: “Given these matters are subject to litigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”
Dublin South Central TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh has been heavily critical of the manner in which these claims have been dealt with. He told thejournal.ie air corps toxic exposure claims “have largely fallen on deaf ears” since the 1990s. He described the most recent revelations about a lack of health and security at the Casement Airbase “alarming”, and accused junior Justice Minister Paul Kehoe of being indifferent “to the plight of the Defence Forces”.
Posted: December 13th, 2016
A restaurant employee´s injury claim for a slip and fall accident at Heuston Station has been resolved at Court with an award of €22,500 compensation.
The twenty-five year old restaurant employee was working at the open air Heuston Refreshment Rooms at Dublin´s Heuston Station, when she slipped on pigeon droppings on the decking and fell – sustaining soft tissue injuries to her ankles, knees and lower back.
The woman applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of her injury claim, but both her employer and Córas Iompair Éireann (CIE) – the corporation responsible for the upkeep of the station withheld their consent for the assessment to proceed.
The Injuries Board issued the woman with an authorization to pursue her injury claim for a slip and fall accident at Heuston Station in court, and the hearing to establish liability was heard earlier this week by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court.
At the hearing, Judge Groarke was told that the woman´s job entailed serving customers and clearing the tables, but she would also spend a considerable amount of time shooing away pigeons that visited the restaurant six or seven times a day.
It was claimed that the comings and goings of the pigeons – and the droppings they left behind – made the outside area of the Heuston Refreshment Rooms an unsafe place to work, and that the plaintiff had brought the hazard to the attention of her employer on several occasions.
In its defence, the restaurant said it and complained to CIE about the pigeon problem numerous times, but the measures the corporation had implemented to deal with the problem had been ineffective.
The judge agreed with the representative of Heuston Refreshment Rooms about the effectiveness of the deterrents CIE had implemented, and said that although he was making judgement against both defendants, he would make an order in favour of the restaurant against CIE.
Judge Groarke awarded the plaintiff €22,500 compensation in settlement of her injury claim for a slip and fall accident at Heuston Station and also her costs of €2,148. He commented that her accident was completely foreseeable and effective measures should have been implemented to provide a safe working environment.
Posted: April 8th, 2016
The case of a man who lost two fingers in an industrial saw accident was heard earlier this week in the High Court of Dublin.
The accident occurred on the 28th April 2008, when a fifty-two year-old carpenter, Antoni Jamroziewicz, was working on the construction of the Limerick Tunnel. Antoni, who is a native of Poland now living in Limerick, fell as he was cutting timber using an industrial saw, causing his hand to enter the saw and losing two of his fingers.
Surgeons were, regrettably, unable to reattach the parts of Antoni’s fingers that had been severed. This, as well as the psychological trauma inflicted upon him on the day, lead to Antoni drinking in excess. As he struggled to find work after the accident, his confidence fell and his professional and social life were negatively affected.
After his accident, Antoni sought legal advice before proceeding to make a claim for compensation agains O’Neill Brennan Ltd, a recruitment agency, and Strabag International GmbH, a German contractor. Antoni claimed that the surface where he was working with the industrial saw was uneven, causing him to lose his balance. As the defendants denied any of the allegations, the case proceeded to the High Court.
Antoni gave evidence at the court of how he had stumbled on the uneven surface where he was working, causing him to fall and for his hand to enter the saw. However, this was contested by the defendants, who claimed that the area in which Antoni was working was level, and that he had probably caused his own injury by acting negligently and putting his hand too close to the saw.
The defendants argued that, as an experienced carpenter, Antoni should have know that if he had doubts about the evenness of the surface, he could have levelled the surface by working on a plywood sheet. However, Antoni’s lawyers argued that the onus was not on Antoni to ensure the area was safe because the saw was already set up for his use.
The case is due to continue later this month.
Posted: March 21st, 2016
The High Court have determined that Dunnes Stores were negligent in a claim for work accident compensation after an employee fell down the stairs.
The employee in question, Jean O’Reilly from Wexford, worked at her local Dunnes Stores in Redmond Square as a checkout operator. However, on the 9th December 2011, as she was checking the noticeboard for staff members she lost her footing and fell down a flight of stairs that lead from the ground floor up to the staff locker room.
Jean was rushed to hospital in an ambulance and received treatment for injuries to her neck and back. For six weeks after the accident, Jean wore a neck brace and was unable to return to work. She also attended a course of physiotherapy to help heal any injuries she sustained.
After seeking legal counsel, Jean proceeded to make a claim for compensation in a workplace accident against her employer. In this claim, she alleged that the position of the staff noticeboard was dangerous, as it was too close to the top of the stairs. She also claimed that had a handrail been positioned on either side of the stairway, her fall could have been prevented.
Dunnes Stores disputed the claim for compensation, and denied permission to the Injuries Board for them to undertake an assessment of the accident. As such, Jean was given authorisation by the board to bring her claim to the courts. It was heard earlier this month at the High Court in Dublin.
The case was overseen by Mr Justice Raymond Fullam, who found in Jean’s favour. The judge ruled that Dunnes Stores was guilty of two counts of negligence – the first for the dangerous positioning of the noticeboard and the second for the missing handrail on both sides of the stairs where Jean fell.
Jean was awarded €81,500 compensation for her claim, which comprised a €65,000 general damage payment for her pain and loss of amenity because of the accident, and a €16,500 special payment for the loss of income she suffered and costs she incurred whilst injured.
Posted: March 17th, 2016
A chef, who was injured whilst attempting to help a co-worker, has been awarded compensation for his injury by the Circuit Civil Court.
The accident occurred when Shijun Liu, an ordinary chef at the Howards Way Restaurant in Rathgar, was working in the establishment’s sister restaurant in Churchtown. In March 2013, he tried to help a cleaner who had gotten into difficulty when trying to use a domestic powerhose to clean the kitchen. However, as the two were trying to unravel the tangled hose, it suddenly started spurting hot water on Shijun.
The temperature of the water severely burned Shijun’s ankle, and he was rushed to the VHI clinic in Dundrum. The injuries to his ankle prevented the chef from returning to work for two weeks after the incident. After seeking legal advice, Shijun made a claim for a restaurant kitchen compensation claim against his employer, Declan Howard, trading as Howards Way Restaurant. When the Injuries Board asked for permission to conduct an assessment of the injuries claim, it was denied.
The case was taken to the Circuit Civil Court, where it was heard by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke earlier this month. Evidence was given that the type of hose used to clean the kitchen was unsuitable for the high temperatures, as it damaged the material. Judge Groarke awarded Shijun €15,000 for his claim, adding that he found Shijun’s case compelling.
Posted: November 24th, 2015
A man, who used to work at Castolin Eutectic, has received a five-figure settlement of compensation for an accident involving a pallet truck, during which he fell and badly injured his back.
The incident occurred on 5th March 2012, when Daniel Hanley – aged twenty-four from Stoneybatter, Dublin – was working in the Castolin Eutectic factory at the Magna Business Park. As he was pushing a pallet truck, he slipped and fall, causing serious soft tissue damage. Mr Henley was rushed to hospital, after which he took six weeks of medical leave.
Mr Hanley sought legal aid, and proceeded to take action against his employer, claiming that Castolin Eutectic did not have adequate safety systems at work. The cause of Mr Hanley’s fall was an accumulation of graphite that had spilt onto the floor, and as such Mr Hanley alleged that his employer failed to ensure that the workplace was safe for their workers.
The company denied any liability for Mr Hanley’s injury, denying the Injuries Board permission to conduct an assessment of the circumstances of the claim. As such, Mr Hanley was granted permission to bring his claim for compensation to the courts.
Earlier this month, the case was heard in Dublin’s High Court by Mr Justice Kevin Cross. During the hearing, Castolin Eutectic argued that Mr Hanley was at fault for his own injuries, saying that he fell because of his own negligence. However, evidence indicated that a number of slips and falls had occurred at the plant because of graphite spillages in the weeks leading up to Mr Hanley’s own fall. This was in spite of the fact that the company’s own management suggested improvements to safety at the factory.
Judge Cross said that there was no evidence that Mr Hanley was in the wrong, and that based on the evidence and testimonies given in court, there was a high probability that graphite was present on the floor when Mr Hanley had his accident. Judge Cross ruled in Mr Hanley’s favour, awarding him €46,000 in compensation for his back injury.
Posted: October 28th, 2015
A man, who made a claim against his former employers Irish Rail for a shoulder accident he had whilst at work, has settled his claim with the company.
Padraic Reddin, aged thirty-eight from Donaghmede in Dublin, worked as an electrician for Irish Rail. In February 2012, he was told by the company that he was to change the destination scroll on the front of a Dart train.
As Padraic was carrying out the task, he felt a sharp pain in his shoulders and across him upper body. He disengaged from the task to rest, before undertaking it again later that day.
However, the pain never fully went away and continues to cause Padraic issues in carrying out everyday tasks – even making tea – and disrupts his sleep. Though Padraic visited his doctor, the pain persisted.
Padriac reported his injury to a superior at the rail company, but because he did not make the report for two weeks after the accident, the superior did not complete the accident report form.
After seeking legal counsel, Padraic made a claim for workplace compensation against Irish Rail for his shoulder injury. He applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of his injuries, though his employers did not consent to an assessment. The board then granted Padraic authorisation to pursue the claim through the courts.
The claim was heard at the Circuit Civil Courts in Dublin earlier this week. Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, who oversaw proceedings at the hearing, heard of how the destination scroll that Padraic was tasked with changing weighed 10 kg and had to be placed at a height of 2 metres.
Padraic’s solicitors told the court that two people should have been assigned the task of changing the scroll, rather than just leave it to Padraic. A request was submitted to briefly adjourn the hearing, after which Judge Groarke heard that the workplace compensation claim had been settled for an undisclosed figure. The case was then struck out.
Posted: October 9th, 2014
A claim for compensation against Cork City Council, made by a man who fractured his arm when he fell down the stairs of a council owned property, has been settled for an undisclosed sum as the second day of his court case was about to get underway.
William Busteed was leaving his council apartment on May 9th 2009 to catch a flight to Majorca, when he slipped on a wet stair at the top of the complex´s stairway and fell badly – injuring his face and left shoulder, and fracturing his left arm. Unfortunately he had to miss his holiday, and the taxi that was waiting to take him to airport instead took fifty-nine year old William to Cork University Hospital where he received treatment for his injuries.
William made a claim for injury compensation against Cork City Council, alleging that the wet stair in the council-owned property was attributable to a faulty smoke alarm. He claimed in his action that a fault in the smoke alarm caused it to go off at least twice a week, and that vents would automatically open above the stairway which would allow the rain through and make the stairs slippery. William claimed that he had reported the fault to the Cork City Council, but the council had failed to deal with the hazard.
Cork City Council denied that it was responsible for William´s injuries due to a lack of care and claimed that William had slipped and fallen on the stair due to being intoxicated and in a hurry to get to the airport. William was given an authorisation to take his claim for injury compensation against Cork City Council to court, where it was heard before Mr Justice Daniel Herbert.
The judge was shown evidence that William´s previous complaints to the council had been dealt with within 48 hours of them being made, and legal representatives on behalf of the council also produced the medical report from when William attended Cork University Hospital – which showed a high level of alcohol in his blood content and cannabis usage.
William denied that he had been drinking excessively or that he had ever used cannabis. He told the judge he was aware airlines would not allow passengers to fly in an intoxicated condition and that he would not put himself into a position where he could be turned away from his flight. His solicitor also criticised the medical report for its accuracy and said he would introduce the author of the report for cross-examination.
After the first day of the hearing, the claim for injury compensation against Cork City Council was adjourned. Before proceedings could start on the second day, Judge Herbert was told that an undisclosed settlement of the claim had been negotiated and that the case could be struck out.
Posted: June 10th, 2014
A High Court judge has awarded €82,750 canteen employee injury compensation to a Dunnes Stores kitchen worker who sustained a severe knee injury in a slip and fall accident at work.
Dorota Michalowska from Clonmel in County Tipperary had been clearing tables in the Dunnes Store canteen at the company´s Clonmel shop, and was pushing a trolley of dirty plates and dishes back to the kitchen area when – on 14th July 2011 – she slipped on a frozen chip that had been left on the floor and fell awkwardly – landing heavily on her knee.
Dorota (29) immediately felt her knee swell up and sought medical attention at once for her soft tissue injury. Such was the severity of her knee injury that Dorota was incapacitated for six months after the accident and unable to return to work for 35 weeks.
On the advice of a solicitor, Dorota made a claim for canteen employee injury compensation against her employers alleging that Dunnes Stores had failed to adequately warn their staff of the risk presented by frozen chips on the floor and that the company had failed to provide her with a safe place and system of work.
Dunnes Stores denied liability for Dorota´s knee injury – arguing that Dorota had been working on food production on the day of her accident and, 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 – thus making her the author of her own misfortune.
No agreement could be reached on the settlement of Dorota´s claim for canteen employee injury compensation, and the case proceeded to the High Court, where it was heard by Ms Justice Mary Irvine – who agreed that the issue to be decided was who was responsible for dropping the frozen chips on the floor.
After hearing evidence from both parties, the judge ruled in Dorota´s favour on the grounds that, had Dorota dropped the chips herself, and then gone around the canteen clearing tables, the chips would have defrosted by the time Dorota slipped on them.
The judge said that as there were two other employees involved in food preparation at the time of Dorota´s accident, “on the balance of probability” it was more likely that one of Dorota´s colleagues had dropped the chips which caused the hazard, and therefore Dunnes Stores were liable for causing the accident.
Judge Irvine awarded Dorota €82,750 canteen employee injury compensation, which included €20,000 for the likely arthritis that Dorota will suffer in the future. The judge also gave Dunnes Stores leave to appeal with the provision that €52,750 on the compensation settlement was paid to Dorota at once.
Posted: May 5th, 2014
A High Court Judge has approved a settlement of compensation for injuries sustained in a fall from a ladder in favour of a fifty-year-old County Wicklow man who suffered permanent brain damage in the accident.
On 18th July 2012, Paul O´Brien from Glenealy in County Wicklow was in the first day of a new job after years of being unemployed following the collapse of the construction industry. Paul had acquired a temporary contract to work on the roof of a house in Bray, when he went to descend from the roof as it began to rain.
As Paul attempted to exit the roof from a ladder which had was leaning against the side of the building, the ladder slipped on the wooden decking it had been stood on, and Paul fell to the ground – sustaining a substantial head trauma due to which he now only has a short-term memory and will never again be able to work.
Through his wife – Sandra – Paul claimed compensation for the injuries sustained in the fall from the ladder against his employer – Sean Lyons of Clondalkin, Dublin. Paul alleged in his action that Sean Lyons had failed to provide suitable scaffolding or fall protection so that Paul had a safe environment in which to work.
Paul also claimed that the ladder he was provided with was not in a safe condition, that it had not been tethered securely to the side of the building and that the combination of an unsafe and untethered ladder – and wet wooden decking – had resulted in a dangerous hazard.
A €1.5 million settlement of compensation for injuries sustained in a fall from a ladder was negotiated out-of-court, but due to the nature of Paul´s injury – and because a claim had been made on his behalf by his wife – the settlement had to be approved by a judge.
Consequently, the details of Paul´s fall from height accident were related to Ms Justice Mary Irvine at the High Court; who also heard that since the accident Sandra has taken a two-year sabbatical from her job to look after her husband.
Judge Irvine heard that a €1.5 million settlement of compensation for injuries sustained in a fall from a ladder had been agreed, and that the family were satisfied with the offer. Commenting that Paul´s contributory negligence might have become a factor had the case progressed to court, the judge approved the settlement, expressing her sympathy for the O´Brien family.