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: 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.
Posted: January 30th, 2014
A hotel chef, injured in a work team building activity, has resolved his compensation claim for a broken wrist out of court.
Cathal Kavanagh (54) from Ongar in Dublin – an executive chef at the four star Carton House Spa and Golf Hotel in Maynooth, County Kildare – attended a team-building day in October 2006 organised by his employer at the Riverbank Arts Centre in Newbridge.
During the day, Cathal and other managers from the hotel were asked to participate in various activities; including a relay race in which the managers were divided into two teams and then asked to hop forwards and then run backwards to pass the baton to the next team member.
During the relay race, Cathal slipped and he broke his wrist when he fell. After speaking with a solicitor, Cathal made a compensation claim for being injured in a work team building activity against his employer, the Riverbank Arts Centre and the company that had organised the team building day – JikiJela Ltd of Tubbercurry, County Sligo.
Cathal alleged in his compensation claim for being injured in a work team building activity that the three defendants had been negligent by failing to ensure that the activities were safe or that there was any risk on an injury occurring. The three allegedly negligent parties denied their liability for Cathal´s slip and fall injury and an Authorisation was issued by the Injuries Board for Cathal´s claim to be heard at the Circuit Civil Court.
However, when re-convening after the lunch break on the first day of the hearing, Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told that Cathal had resolved his claim for being injured in a work team building activity and that the case could now be struck out.
Posted: December 9th, 2013
The Circuit Civil court has awarded a psychology student €6,000 black eye injury compensation after she sustained an injury during an acupuncture training course.
In April 2010, Bernadette Poleon from Dunboyne, County Meath, was studying psychology at the University College Dublin when she volunteered to take part in a clinical acupuncture training course that was being run by the Irish Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Ranelagh, Dublin.
As part of the training course, a student of acupuncture inserted needles below each of Bernadette´s eyes and, later that day, Bernadette´s left eye started to become inflamed. Within two days the eye had developed black and yellow bruising.
The eye continued to be inflamed for several days, but the bruising remained for seven weeks – causing forty-five year old Bernadette severe embarrassment whenever she explained to friends and colleagues how the injury had occurred.
After seeking legal advice, Bernadette made a claim for black eye injury compensation against the Institute and its owners, Bellfield Consultants Ltd. The Institute denied its liability for Bernadette´s injury and presented a full defence against the claim.
However, at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, Judge Jacqueline Linnane was informed that the case – by consent – was before her for the assessment of damages only.
After hearing the circumstances of the injury, and the level of embarrassment that Bernadette had suffered, Judge Linnane awarded Bernadette €6,000 in black eye injury compensation and closed the case. Bernadette was also awarded costs on the District Court scale.
Posted: November 22nd, 2013
Statistics released by the Injuries Board have shown a 50 percent increase in compensation claims for being burned at work in Ireland.
The statistics were released in a news item written by the Director of Corporate Services at the Injuries Board – Stephen Watkins – who compared the 28 accepted Injuries Board assessments in 2011 with the 42 compensation claims for being burned at work received in 2012 and described the increase as “worrying”.
Mr Watkins´ figures showed that assessments for burn injuries at work with a total value of €1.33 million were accepted by plaintiffs during the two-year period and that the average award of compensation was €19,066. Mr Watkins also mentioned some of the more common causes of accidents at work which resulted in plaintiffs sustaining serious burns. These included:
- Splashes from hot liquids and chemicals
- Burns from chemical and acid spills
- Burns from overflowing boiling water
- Electricity burns from faulty workplace equipment
- Clothes setting on fire due to being too close to a source of heat
The highest accepted assessment of compensation for being burned at work was made to an employee of a chemical company, who received €106,949 after suffering severe burns in an acid spill (2), and the highest volume of compensation claims for being burned at work were made by cleaners and workers in the catering industry (3).
Mr Watkins urged employers to implement safety procedures to avoid employees being burned at work and asked employees to be extra vigilant when working with hot liquids and hazardous chemicals and to be aware of the safety guidelines put in place by their employers.
(1) In 2012, only 32.7 percent of all applications for assessment made to the Injuries Board were accepted by plaintiffs – implying that there may have been many more compensation claims for being burned at work which were settled other than through the Injuries Board process.
(2) Earlier this year, the Health and Safety Authority published the results of their “Chemicals Usage Survey”, which revealed that 67 percent of businesses who expose their employees to hazardous chemicals did not have an adequate training program in place to inform employees on the best practises to avoid chemical burns.
(3) In the 2012 “Summary of Workplace Injuries” (also published by the Health and Safety Authority), statistics showed that female workers are three times more likely to sustain a burn injury at work due to the higher percentage of female worker employed as cleaners and in the catering industry.
Posted: October 25th, 2013
A man, who has been unable to work since being hurt in a 2007 accident, has been awarded €257,000 in settlement of his claim for a workplace head injury.
The man was employed as a general assistant and knife cleaner at the AIBP meat processing factory in Cahir, County Tipperary when, in May 2007, he was asked to help a colleague who was attempting to load a meat conveyor bench onto two trolleys in order to transport it elsewhere within the processing plant.
As the meat factory employee and his colleague manoeuvred the meat conveyor bench across the trolleys, the bench slipped and fell on his head while he was beneath it; causing a severe head trauma. The employee was immediately taken to hospital after the accident but, because of the nature of his injury, he has been unable to work since.
A claim for a workplace head injury was made against AIBP after the employee had sought legal advice, on the basis that he had been requested to perform a task for which he had not been trained or adequately instructed, and that he had suffered the injury because of his employer´s negligence.
AIBP denied liability for the employee´s head injury, and claimed that the accident had occurred because he had been careless when manoeuvring the bench. However the plaintiff´s solicitors persevered with his claim for a workplace head injury and the case was heard by Mr Justice Iarflaith O’Neill at the High Court in Dublin.
After hearing evidence from witnesses for both parties, Mr Justice Iarflaith O’Neill delivered a verdict in the plaintiff´s favour and said he believed that the employee´s account of how the factory accident had occurred was the most accurate. He commented that, although the employee had been seriously injured in the accident, AIPB had taken an “antagonistic approach” to his personal situation.
The judge also criticised AIBP for recording a “trivialised account” of the factory accident in the company’s accident reporting system and said that the company had got this case “completely wrong”. Mr Justice Iarflaith O’Neill awarded the employee €257,000 in settlement of his claim for a workplace head injury.