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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.

Belfast Woman Made Fun of due to her Accent Awarded €1,118 Injury Compensation Payout

Posted: September 11th, 2018

An workplace industrial tribunal has awarded a personal injury compensation after she was mocked due to her west Belfast accent and harassed for being female.

The workplace bullying incident took place at the Four Winds pub in Castlereagh where Caroline Curran was employed as an assistant manager. She told the tribunal that she was mocked of and verbally teased due to her background and sex. She claimed that one manager told her she was “not in the Devenish now”, in reference to a pub in west Belfast. She claimed that another time a male colleague yelled at her: “Would you women f*** up!… you’re never done moaning.”

Ms Curran told the industrial tribunal: “I’m a strong person, but I found it extremely difficult to deal with mentally and I can only imagine if it was a younger woman or someone maybe not as strong as myself, what sort of state they would be in? I just didn’t want to let that go or allow them to treat anybody else like that.”

Ms Curran was hired as assistant manager of the bar in March 2017, under the supervision of manager Dermott McGinn and alongside fellow assistant manager Conor Magee. By July 2017 she submitted a formal grievance after becoming displeased at the treatment she was receiving and told that tribunal that Mr Magee “constantly undermines me in front of staff”.

Ms Curran also filed a formal complaint in relation to amendments to staff rotas, which she said he lied about causing her to feel “as if I’m going insane, sometimes he lies to me to make me think I’m wrong”. Following this incident she was signed out of work for two weeks and never returned to work at the pub again. However, she was present for a grievance meeting in August during which she testified that Mr Magee made pointed jokes towards her including: “You’re not in the Devenish now.”

Mr Magee disagreed with all of Ms Curran’s allegations, stating that “he hadn’t exactly a posh voice himself”, before going on to say that he thought he had the same accent and he comes from west Belfast. As the grievance meeting agree with her complaints Ms Curran took the matter to the workplace industrial tribunal.

At the tribunal legal counsel for Four Winds said the company disagreed with Ms Curran’s allegations that her gender was an “overarching theme” in her complaints against co-workers and that she did not pursue sex discrimination in her formally submitted grievance.

When delivering their ruling the tribunal said that Ms Curran was, in all likelihood, mocked due to her accent but this was not due to her gender. Along with this they added that her allegations of being undermined by Mr Magee were not due to her gender.

On the claims against Mr McGinn they ruled that this was due to “bad staff management”, however gender was not the cause of this. It did regard the comment, “Would you women just f*** up” as a clear instance of sexual harassment. The workplace industrial tribunal awarded Ms Curran £1,080 (€1,118) harassment compensation.

Thalidomide Compensation Hearing Adjourned Until November

Posted: August 10th, 2018

Following the initiation of several thalidomide compensation claims, an official hearing has been adjourned at the High Court until November to allow for additional case management.

German drug manufacturer Grünenthal GmbHT,introduced Thalidomide as a sedative in Germany in 1957. They are now are facing 26 compensation cases taken against them, their Irish distributors TP Whelehan Son & Co, and the Ministers for Health and Environment. All parties deny the claims that have been made against them.

Allegations have been made stating that the drug inflicted deformities on unborn children when it was administered to pregnant mothers. The claims have been made in relation to incidents that took place in the 1960s. Due to this the High Court is currently reviewing whether the cases are statute-barred.

At the High Court the cases were brought before Mr Justice Seamus Noonan, who has stated that he is unhappy with “the slow pace” of the proceedings. Judge Noonan issued  rulings to deal with a number of requests made by the defendants regarding certain aspects of their compensation claims.

The defendants claim that they need additional information from the plaintiffs in order to fully deal with the claims that are being taken against them. The judge concurred with this assertion and said that the details should be provided before the case is back before the court for further case management on 7 November. Judge Noonan added that the plaintiffs had a right to ask for discover documents from the State as part of their compensation action.

In a previous statement read out to the High Court, a representative for Grünenthal said the firm iss “deeply sorry for what happened to those affected by the thalidomide tragedy. It’s important for us that we engage in efforts to improve the situations of those who are still living with the impact of these latter effects. We set up the Grünenthal Foundation to provide benefits in kind and financing for individual projects for those affected. Since its establishment, the Grünenthal Foundation has also approved more than 1,000 applications for individualised support in Germany and internationally.”

Man ‘lucky to survive’ when tree fell on him during storm awarded €165k

Posted: March 17th, 2018

A €165,000 High Court Settlement has been approved for a man who suffered multiple severe injuries when a tree fell on him during stormy weather.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told that John Haskins Junior (37) ‘lucky to survive the accident which happened four years ago. Mr Haskins sustained fractures to the spine, ribs and ankle. As a result of the incident he spent the two months after it in hospital receiving treatment.

Taking the action through his father Mr Haskins Jnr, who lives in Athy, Co Kildare sued Camphill Communities of Ireland, proprietor of a health care center located in  Dunshane House, Brannmockstown, Naas, Co Kildare, due to the suffering he experienced in the accident that occurred on February 12, 2014.

Mr Haskins Jr was an inpatient at the health care facility when the accident occurred as he has Asperger syndrome. Mr Haskins’ legal counsel advised the High Court that he was walking through the garden of the centre, a mature beech tree dropped and hit him. It is alleged that the tree was known to be diseased and, despite this, was not removed from the area where it posed a threat to anyone close by. Additionally, they claimed that an alleged failure to maintain, fix or removed the tree or take the necessary steps to make it safe. The area could have been fences off or, ideally, the tree would have been felled.

It was also claimed there was a failure to take any adequate or effective measures to fence off or secure the area or to have the tree completely removed.

The claims were refuted as, it was claimed, the tree was alive and did not give the appearance of being in any way unhealthy. The decay in the tree root could only have been detected by a trained arboriculturist according to the defendant.

Hugh Mohan SC, for Mr Haskins, referred to a consultant report for his side which stated that there was a decay and fungus in the tree and it had led to rot developing in the roots and the wood then becoming degraded and subject to fracture.

Mr Justice Cross, in approving the settlement, commented that Mr Haskins had made a fantastic recovery after suffering major injuries.

Appeal in Garda Injury Compensation for Work Accident Claim

Posted: January 25th, 2018

A Garda, who sustained a disfigured fingernail injury  in a work accident that involved a Garda car door slamming shut on his left small finger has appealed the refusal to allow him pursue a work place injury compensation claim.

Garda Noel Callan, who was apprehending a drunk and violent man when the incident occurred, argued that the Minister for Justice’s refusal to allow a compensation claim (under the Garda Compensation Acts) as, based on the medical reports and evidence made available to him, the injury was minor was incorrect.

The High Court heard the challenge to that refusal on Wednesday and Mr Justice Max Barrett has reserved judgment in relation to it.

Richard Kean SC, acting on behalf of Garda Callan told the Hight Court that, as per the Garda Compensation Acts, a Garda who sustains a work injury has the right to claim personal injury compensation through the courts. He added that gardai are awarded sums in cases where it is deemed appropriate.

However, Garda Callan’s legal team agreed with the fact that the Justice Minister must give permission for a work injury compensation to be take and is under no obligation. Indeed, they may refuse to do so if they feel that the injured party suffered was minor injuries.

However, the term ‘minor injury’ is not defined in the legislation. Due to this Mr Kean argued that, though the injury was not profound or significant, it still should not be referred to as a minor injury. He went on to say that the Justice Minister’s ruling was not sound and did not properly review the medical reports that were produced at the initial hearing.

The court was told that Garda Callan is right handed and received treatment on his left hand’s smallest finger. He was also absent from work for the seven days immediately after the incident occurred.

Mr Callan suffered a lacerated fingernail bed and his fingernail had to be taken off. Due to this he felt experienced constant over the following eight months including a loss of sensation and tenderness when he was driving his car and completing other everyday tasks.

Mr Kean described the incident in which Garda Callan sustained the fingernail injury when was on duty at Swords, Co Dublin, on August 26 2011.  After a drunk man became violent, having being arrested in relation to public order offences, a car door slammed on Garda Callan’s left hand inflicting the injury.

The medical report submitted made reference the fact the fingernail was irregular and deformed when it grew back. Garda Callan experience ongoing pain and tenderness, more so during periods of colder weather.

Legal Representatives for the Justice Minister, opposing Garda Callan’s application argued that all the medical evidence was considered at the first hearing, including a medical report stating Garda Callan had practically fully recovered from the injury. It was because of this that the Justice Minister felt this this was a minor injury concerning the appearance of Garda Callan’s fingernail.

Judgement has been reserved by Judge Max Barrett

Former Mechanic Makes Claims Against Defence Forces due to Chemical Exposure

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”.

Injury Claim for a Slip and Fall Accident at Heuston Station Resolved at Court

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.

Claim for Industrial Saw Accident Heard in Court

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.

Retailer Found Negligent in Work Accident Claim

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.

Chef Compensated for Kitchen Injury

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.

Worker Compensated for Accident with Pallet Truck

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.

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