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Work Injuries Compensation

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 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 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.

Compensation Awarded for Brain Injuries

Posted: September 5th, 2015

A man, who was severely injured after he fell from a ladder, has been awarded a seven-figure settlement of compensation by his employers.

The accident occurred on the 22nd March 2011 when Michael Brady, aged forty seven, was working for Philip Brady Building Contractors Ltd in Naas. Michael, from Monasterevin in Co. Kildare, was required to clear vegetation from a gutter when he fell from a sixteen-foot ladder, which his father – Philip Brady Senior, a relation to the owner of the company – had left him atop of, unattended. 

When Philip returned to where his son had been working, he donut him unresponsive at the bottom of the ladder. Michael was rushed to hospital and an emergency surgery on his brain was carried out. Subsequent procedures were carried out to repair the damage to his brain and reconstruct his face. Ever since the accident, Michael has had impaired vision and is reliant on assistance to carry out basic tasks. 

Michael was determined unable to represent himself in court, so a claim for injury compensation was made by his father on his behalf. In the claim, it was alleged that the ladder provided to Michael was not suitable for the work at hand, and that there were no adequate safeguards to prevent such an accident. 

Philip Brady Building Contractors Ltd denied liability for the accident. Though they had prepared a full legal defines for when the case went to court. However, prior to the High Court hearing, it was announced that a €1.5 million settlement of compensation had been negotiated between the parties. The High Court then approved the settlement. 

Dunnes Stores Worker Compensated for Injury

Posted: June 26th, 2015

Dublin’s High Court have awarded an employee of Dunnes Stores an increase in compensation over the initial value approved by the Circuit Court. 

The accident happened on the 6th June 2011 when Anthony Fitzsimons, aged twenty-five from Finglas, was lifting a stack of empty trays. The employee, who was working at a store in the Charlestown Shopping Centre, sustained an injury to his foot when the trays came crashing down. 

The injury meant that Anthony was not able to return to work for the retailed for three and a half months after the incident. After seeking legal counsel, he made a claim for work injury compensation against his employers. In the claim, he alleges that the injury happened because there was only a few millimetres available to someone should they want to lift the trays once they were stacked. 

However, Dunnes Stores denied any liability for Anthony’s injury. After he was issued with authorisation by the Injuries Board, Anthony brought his claim for compensation to the Circuit Court. There, he was awarded €8,035 for his injuries after the judge, who ruled that the accident could have been predicted, assigned his with a 50% contributory negligence.

However, this decision was appealed by Dunnes Stores, and the claim for work injury compensation proceeded to the High Court. Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns oversaw proceedings, and ruled to uphold the Circuit Court’s ruling. In his verdict, Judge Kearns commented that Anthony should have received more instruction from his employers concerning the number of crates that would have been safe for him to lift. 

Judge Kearns also increased the value of the compensation settlement to €11,070, saying that because of the “nasty” injury inflicted to Anthony, it was appropriate he receive more compensation.

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