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.