Work Injuries Compensation
Posted: June 26th, 2020
German drugs and pesticides manufacturer Bayer has, after year long settlement talks, agreed to pay a $10.9bn compensation settlement in relation to thousands of US-based legal actions taken as users of weedkiller RoundUp claimed it caused them to develop cancer.
The RoundUp settlements will be financed by Bayer with the company’s current free cash flow and the earnings from the recent sale of its Animal Health business. There were almost 125,000 filed and unfiled compensation claims. The agreed settlement makes up about 75% of the claims connected with RoundUp. In both 2020 and 2021, $5bn is due to be paid out.
Bayer has never accepted allegations that cancer is caused by RoundUp or its active ingredient glyphosate. The company has referred to independent studies that back up this belief. The submitted legal action alleged that RoundUp was a major factor in the development of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other cancers in some individuals.
Bayer bought Monsanto in 2018 and, in doing so, inherited the claims. This settlement does not take into account three cases that have already gone to trial. In April, a meeting of Bayer shareholders in the group gave their approval in relation to how the claims were being managed.
Bayer chief executive Werner Baumann said, in relation the development and settlement agreement: “First and foremost, the Roundup settlement is the right action at the right time for Bayer to bring a long period of uncertainty to an end. It resolves most current claims and puts in place a clear mechanism to manage risks of potential future litigation. It is financially reasonable when viewed against the significant financial risks of continued, multi-year litigation and the related impacts to our reputation and to our business.”
He added: “The decision to resolve the Roundu litigation enables us to focus fully on the critical supply of healthcare and food. It will also return the conversation about the safety and utility of glyphosate-based herbicides to the scientific and regulatory arena and to the full body of science.”
Settlement mediator Ken Feinberg said that there are a number of claims, 25,000, remaining to settle, “Bayer wisely decided to settle the litigation rather than roll the dice in American court.”
He went on to say: “I predict all the remaining cases will settle within a few months. People are going to want their share of this settlement.”
Posted: June 12th, 2019
A restaurant has been directed to pay €20,000 in workplace discrimination compensation to a gay bar manager his boss referred to him as ‘queer’ almost every day at work.
The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) was given a number of examples by the bar manager of time when he was subject to offensive comments from his two bosses.
‘Director A’ spoke most of the comments to the bar manager and WRC Adjudication Officer, Marian Duffy commented: “I cannot comprehend how senior managers in a workplace would consider it acceptable to call such offensive names or make such offensive comments to a gay man.”
She went on to say: “I am satisfied that it is a breach of their trust and duty of care towards their employee to create and tolerate such a degrading and offensive work environment.”
Ms Duffy dismissed the restaurant’s argument that the terms used to describe the bar manager as “banter”.
Ms Duffy has directed the restaurant to pay the bar manager €20,000 after ruling that he was harassed on the basis of his sexual orientation in the workplace. She also said that staff training should conducted to prevent harassment on the nine grounds of discrimination under the Employment Equality Acts.
There were three witnesses to present evidence on behalf of the restaurant and they all claimed that they did not witness any derogatory comments directed towards the bar manager.
In January 2018, the bar manager was given a letter advising him that he was being made redundant. He told the WRC that he was of the opinion that he was being let go due to his sexual orientation. However, Ms Duffy dismissed this argument as his position was made redundant. The restaurant advised the WRC that the bar manager was made redundant because the business was not profitable.
Posted: November 1st, 2018
A factory worker who experienced a fall to the ground resulting a severe ankle injury when he attempted to shift a trapped bin has been awarded €224,000 workplace injury compensation at the High Court.
Tomasz Zdejszy was employed at a refuse collection business when he suffered permanent damage on his ankle. Mr Zdejzy experienced fall of nine feet to the ground on April 2012 at the business park in Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.
In passing judgement Justice Michael Hanna stated that the 37-year-old man had climbed up a waste paper container to release a bin by kicking it. The Judge said that Mr Zdejszy had begun to climb down when a colleague gave him a metal bar to help with moving the bin.
In his workplace injury compensation case against his employer Stewart Foil Ltd, Tomasz claimed that there had been a failure to ensure the safe and proper removal of an obstacle to waste collection when Mr Zdejszy was required to work at a dangerous height.
In the workplace fall compensation action taken against Panda Waste Services, said that he was asked to remove or move a rubbish bin on a waste container while working at a height. He also said that he was given an inappropriate tool, a metal bar, to accomplish this task.
Justice Hanna found there was 20% contributory negligence charged to Mr Zdejszy as he did not employ sufficient care with regard to his own safety. The judge stated that Stewart Foil Ltd were 66% responsible and Panda Waste Services 33% responsible for the accident.
Judge Hanna remarked that Mr Zdejszy had suffered a typical injury for the fall in question, with a severe break of the right side of his foot, down into his ankle joint. This fracture resulted in him developing arthritis on the joint, which required surgical fusion. Mr Zdejszy had permanent loss of movement in his ankle, a loss of heel height of approximately one inch on the injured side and has been left with constant pain.
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.
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.
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
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: 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.
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.