Employee Compensated for Fall at Workplace

A former worker at a sewerage plant has been awarded compensation for slipping at work, though was assigned partial liability.

The accident occurred on the 3rd February 2010, when the man – who was working as a maintenance engineer at the sewerage plant in Co. Tipperary – slipped on sewerage. The sewerage had come from flumes surrounding inlet channels, which had overflown.

The slip left the employee with a back injury that prevented him from returning to work. Though he applied to the Injuries Board Ireland for assessment, the Templemore Town Council – who run the sewerage facility – refused to give consent for an investigation.

As such, the man was given authorisation by the Injuries Board to pursue his claim in court. The liability hearing was held at the High Court in Dublin last week, where Mr Justice Raymond Fullam oversaw proceedings.

Judge Fullam was told that whilst the man worked at the sewerage plant – which has since been decommissioned – he was responsible for cleaning the flumes and ensuring that the paths were safe to walk on.

The judge agreed with representatives of the council, who argued that the employee should take some responsibility for the accident. However, he also accepted that there was a problem with the pumps and that there was not sufficient time to clear the path.

In the end, the employee was awarded a €70,000 settlement for his work injury. However, this was reduced by 40% after the judge assigned contributory negligence to the former maintenance engineer, resulting in a final settlement of €47,400.

Storage Company Fined for Death of Employee

Dublin’s Circuit Criminal Court have fined a storage company €200,000 for breaches of health and safety regulations that resulted in the death of one of their employees. 

The accident occurred on the 28th November 2015 when Robert Ceremuga, a thirty-two year-old warehouse supervisor, was at work for VF Coldstores Ltd.. Tragically, a rack that supported around thirty-six tonnes of food products collapsed atop of Robert, killing him instantly. After the accident, an engineer’s report revealed that a forklift had accidentally collided with the rack, causing it to give way. It was also uncovered that the employee charged with the forklift had been working at the warehouse for just three weeks and lacked the appropriate license to operate the machine. 

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) proceeded to prosecute VF Coldstores Ltd. for their breaches of health and safety regulations. Last month, at Dublin’s Circuit Criminal Court, a representative for VF Coldstores Ltd plead guilty to the charges. During the same hearing, Maria – Robert’s widow – read a victim impact statement, after which the judge – Ms Justice Melanie Greally – decided to adjourn the hearing such that she could calculate compensation using a “scientific approach”. 

Earlier this week, the hearing was reconvened. Judge Greally ordered VF Coldstores Ltd to pay a fine of €200,000 for their negligence. Brian Higgisson, the Assistant Chief Executive of the HSA, commented after the announcement of the fine that “It is important that employers adequately manage and conduct work activities, in particular carrying out risk assessments before any major works, such as alterations to racking. These assessments should ensure that everyone has the necessary training, knowledge and experience to complete the work in a safe manner.”

Armagh Farmer Fined for Work Injury

A dairy farmer from County Armagh has received a fine from the magistrates’ court for safety breaches that lead to the injury of an employee.

The accident occurred in June 2015 when an worker on a dairy farm – who has remained anonymous throughout proceedings – was assisting in the construction of a fence. However, as he was working his leg was impaled on a prong of a rake that had fallen.

An investigation ensued into the circumstances of the accident, which happened on land owned by David Murphy of Killylea in Co. Armagh. The investigation found that there had been a breach of Article 4 of the Health and Safety at Work Order (NI) 1978. Murphy was then prosecuted by HSENI inspectors.

A hearing was conducted at the Armagh Magistrates’ Court, where Murphy admitted his guilt for the charges. He was then fined £1,000 for his negligence resulting in the injury of an employee.

Kevin Campbell, a HSNEI Inspector with the Major Investigation Team, commented after the hearing that ““Farmers must ensure that proper systems are in place to prevent employees being injured. In addition, the correct equipment must be used and be maintained in good working order. Any misuse of equipment, or the wrong choice of machinery has the potential for things to go wrong, resulting in serious injury, as was the case in this totally preventable accident.”

Factory Worker Receives Compensation for Back Injury

A man has received €415,000 compensation for no longer being able to work after the High Court heard a back injury claim due to inadequate training. 

In January 2011, Mohammed Ali Saleh was employed at the pluck station at the Moyvalley Meats factory in County Kildare. While working at the slaughter hall, Mohammed twisted to put meat from a dead animal onto a hook and felt a sharp pain in his back. An MRI scan was taken which revealed that he had suffered a prolapse disc and needed urgent decompression treatment.

Mohammed underwent two operations on his back, yet his condition did not improve. He was diagnosed with failed back syndrome and suffers from persistent pain in his back and legs, and foot weakness. He is now entirely dependent on a crutch to support himself, and has been rendered unable to work.

Mohammed sought legal advice, and made a claim for compensation against Moyvalley Meats Ireland Limited. In his claim, Mohammed alleged that he had not been adequately trained to perform his duties without conducting a twisting manoeuvre and that the company had not introduced a safe system of work. The company contested Mohammed´s back injury claim due to workplace conditions, and a hearing was schedule for the case to be heard at the High Court.

At the hearing, Moyvalley Meats told Mr Justice Kevin Cross that Mohammed had been given on the job training and that his injury was the direct result of a pre-existing back condition. However, an expert witness was brought to testify, and stated that no safe system of work had been implemented to avoid the twisting manoeuvre responsible for Mohammed´s back injury. It was also revealed that the only training Mohammed had received was watching an operative perform the task for a short period of time, and Mohammed had not performed the task himself.

Judge Cross found in Mohammed´s favour, and awarded him €415,000 compensation in settlement of his back injury claim due to workplace conditions. The compensation settlement was for Mohammed´s lost income and his past and continued pain and suffering.


The High Court has awarded a compensation settlement to an employee of Dunnes Stores for an injury that was the result of a slip and fall incident in the workplace.

In July 2011, Dorota Michalowska (29) was working in the canteen of Dunnes Stores in Clonmel, Country Tipperary. As she was clearing the tables and moving items to the kitchen to be cleaned, she slipped on a frozen chip that was on the floor. The fell to the ground, and damaged the soft tissue of her knee.

Dorota was forced to undergo physiotherapy for her injury, which left her largely immobilised. She was unable to work for thirty-five weeks after the incident occurred. She sought legal advice, and decided to make a claim against her employer for a canteen slip and fall injury to seek compensation for the time during which she was rendered unable to work.

The defendant denied any liability for Dorota’s injury. Their solicitors argued that the victim herself had been responsible for preparing a large quantity of the food, and it was plausible that it was her own fault that there had been a frozen chip on the floor. Therefore, Dorota’s own negligence was the cause of the injury, and Dunnes Stores was not at fault.

The case went to the High Court, where it was heard by Ms Justice Mary Irvine. Evidence was given by both parties. The judge remarked that Dorota had not been working on her own in the canteen that day; two colleagues shared her responsibilities. Therefore, “on the balance of probabilities”, it was more probable that either of them had dropped the chip as opposed to Dorota herself. She ruled that Dunnes Stores was liable for the injury due to the negligence of its staff to pick the chip up. She also noted that had the victim dropped the chip herself, it would have defrosted by the time Dorota had finished her tasks around the canteen and slipped on it, hence making it even more unlikely that Dorota was responsible for her knee injury.

A further payment of €20,000 was awarded to account for Dorota’s future pain, as it is likely that she will suffer from arthritis in future as a result of her injuries.


An employee that sustained a broken wrist injury while participating in a team-building exercise organised by his employer has been awarded compensation outside of court.

Cathal Kavanagh (54), an executive chef in the Carton House Spa and Gold Hotel in Maynooth, County Kildare, attended a team-building day with his colleagues at the Riverbank Arts Centre in Newbridge, where he sustained his injury.

As part of the event, Cathal was required to participate in a series of games and activities with his coworkers. It was during one of these events-a relay race that saw employees of the four-star hotel running backwards-that Cathal fell. His foot slipped form under him, and he fractured his wrist in an attempt to break his fall. Medical treatment was sought, and he received care for his broken wrist.

Cathal sought legal advice from his solicitor. He made a compensation claim for the injuries sustained on the programme against both Carton House and the organisers of the day, JikiJela Ltd of Tubbercurry, County Sligo. A further claim was made against Kildare County Council, the proprietors of the Riverbank Arts Centre.

The victim claimed that the activities had not been safe for participants, and that all of the parties named were negligent as they failed to ensure that no danger would be present for Cathal or his colleagues. All defendants denied liability for his wrist injury, resulting in the Injuries Board authorising the claim to be heard at the Circuit Civil court to resolve the matter.

However, before the first day of the hearing was complete, Mrs Justive Mary Irvine-the judge presiding the case-was informed that compensation for the injury had been settled outside of court and that the claim could be struck out of court.



A woman has been awarded compensation from her employer, the Community Information and Referral Service in the Australian Capital Territory, after her office chair collapsed. She suffered permanent back damage as a result of the accident, which occurred in 2002.

Terry Anne Downie (51) of Canberra, Australia, fell to the floor when the chair collapsed beneath her. Following an investigation into how to chair failed, it was discovered that a plastic moulding at the base of the chair suffered catastrophic failure as a result of two spokes at the base of the chair breaking.

Emergency services were notified and Terry Anne was taken to hospital. After receiving medical attention, scans of her back revealed that as a consequence of the incident, a disc in her spine bulged, causing it to come into contact with a nerve root. She stills suffers sciatica and pain in her lower back to this day.

Workers compensation was granted to Terry Anne from her employer. Terry Anne, due to her continued discomfort, also made a personal injury claim for compensation eleven years after the incident. The claim was made against the company who imported the chair assembly kit from China, Jantom. A further claim was made against the retailer Fyshwick who assembled the chair to sell to her employer.

Both companies denied liability for Terry Anne’s injuries as a results of her workplace accident. However, a judgement was passed down by the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court that found the import company Jantom and its insurance provider liable to pay Terry Anne Downie a sum of Au$933,030 in compensation for the injury sustained. A further Au$112,000 special damages was awarded to cover the costs of her medical care.

Her employer, the Community Information and Referral Service was also rewarded Au$441,911 as a result of the compensation that had been paid to Terry Anne since her accident.

Factory Foot Injury Resolved Out of Court

A factory worker from Sheffield has settled his compensation claim for a factory foot injury out of court. Michael Kirby will receive £6,500 after an alloy bar fell on his left foot breaking two metatarsal bones in it.

Mr Kirby pursued compensation for his factory foot injury on the grounds that he had received incorrect safety training when moving alloy bars.

The negligent party Ross & Catherall Limited admitted responsibility for the incident and the claim for a factory foot injury resolved out of court.

For news about personal injuries in the United States, please see here: http://www.accidentsclaimslaw.com/news/


The circuit civil court awarded compensation of €15,565 to the burn injury victim, a refuse worker, who suffered the injury to his left eye.

The accident occurred in July 2011. Kamil Kozlowski (30), employed by Panda Waste Services Ltd, was emptying bins in Sandyford Road when a hydraulic cable on the back of the rubbish truck burst. Hot oil was sprayed from the burst cable, burning his eye in the process. The emergency services were quickly contacted and he was rushed to the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital after receiving first aid on the scene. His eyes were rinsed, and a course of eye drops was prescribed.

Despite these measures, the victim suffered continued pain in his left eye after the incident. He also experienced issues with his vision. He decided to seek legal advice, and then sought to make a claim for the injury against his employers.

Although Panda Waste Services Ltd admitted that they were liable for the accident, no agreement could be reached over the amount of compensation the victim was entitled to receive outside of court.  As a result, the case was heard by Judge Alison Lindsay and the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.

The case was heard in court and, as a result, Judge Lindsay decided that Kamil was entitled to compensation of €15,565 for the injury that he suffered.

Delivery Man Compensated for Dog Attack

The High Court has awarded a pizza delivery man €7,000 in personal injuries after he was bitten by a dog while delivering advertising leaflets through a letterbox.

 Arpit Khurana (23) had appealed the claim to the High Court after he was bitten by an Alsatian-type dog when he put his hand through the letterbox in October 2009. Mr.Khurana was treated in hospital for the injury to his finger as a result of the bite and received a tetanus shot.

Mr. Khurana had his claim dismissed by Mr Justice Matthew Deery at the Circuit Court in February 2012 after the judge deemed that the claimant had no legal right to put his hand through the letterbox. Mr. Khurana appealed hios claim to the High Court where Ms Justice Iseult O’Malley deemed that Vincent and Bernie Fitzgerald of Portobello, Dublin who were the owners of the dog, were liable as the back of the letterbox did not extend the full depth of the aperture. The judge said ‘It seems to me entirely possible the dog in fact got its nose under the flap and managed to bite his hand.”

Mr.Khurana was awarded €7,000 in compensation for the dog bite injury as well as costs for the two court cases.

Garda Compensated for Ramming Incident

A Garda who sustained hip and leg injuries in a car accident where his colleague died, has been awarded €45,000 in compensation for his injuries.

Garda Bernard McLoughlin and colleague Garda Gary McLoughlin had their patrol car rammed by a car driven by Martin McDermott, of Raphoe, County Donegal in December 2009. Garda Gary McLoughlin died as a result of injuries he suffered in the incident. Garda Bernard McLoughlin was unable to continue with his duties and has taken a leave of absence to study in Australia.

McDermott was sentenced to eight year in prison for manslaughter in July 2011. Awarding Garda Bernard McLoughlin the compensation Ms Justice Irvine acknowledged the severe trauma Garda McLoughlin went through.

Settlement Approved for Man who Fell from Scaffolding

The High Court has approved a settlement of €750,000 in compensation for a man who fell three meters from a scaffolding tower while he was helping his brother make repairs to the roof of his house.

Patrick Rayner from Mitchelstown, County Cork suffered his fall in heavy rain in December 2008 and sustained a fractured skull in Killmallock, County Limerick. Mr.Rayner suffered hearing loss, a reduction in his taste and sell senses and now suffers frequent headaches.

The victim claimed that the scaffolding had not been secured to a permanent structure and therefore his brother had failed to provide him with a duty of care for his safety. Mr.Rayner’s brother did not dispute his liability and the settlement of €750,000 had already been agreed leaving Ms Justice Mary Irvine to approve the settlement.

RTE Employee Awarded Compensation for Work Injury

An RTE employee has been awarded €18,500 after he suffered an elbow injury while working on the set of the Saturday Night Show.

The Circuit Civil Court heard that Arthur McMullan (59) of Goatstown, Dublin fell while he was trying to unsnag a curtain that has caused continuous problems on the set. Mr.McMullan fell over a studio floor lamp sustaining his injury elbow in February 2010 and as a result is still suffering from elbow pain, two years later.

An RTE colleague supported his compensation claim stating that the curtain had been an ongoing problem that was not remedied by RTE. Judge Jacqueline Linnane found in favour of the claimant.

Former Ryanair Employee Awarded Compensation for Work Injury

A former Ryanair baggage handler who sustained a back injury while moving aircraft stairs unassisted has been awarded €45,000 compensation in the High Court.

Damian Warcaba of Malahide, County Dublin was absent from work for two months as a result of his injury. Ryanair argued that adequate training is provided to staff and Mr.Warcaba to not adhere to the practices set out. The company said he had breached operating protocols and was solely responsible for the injury sustained.

However Mr Justice Peter Charleton ruled in favour of the claimant as Ryanair failed to provide sufficient workers to ensure the protocols set out could be followed.

Farm Accident Deaths Remain High

The number of farm related deaths for 2011 may surpass last year’s 20 year high a conference in Dublin organised by the Health and Safety Authority, Teagasc and the Farm Safety Partnership Advisory Committee heard yesterday. The fatality figures have already reached 16 for the year, in 2010 there were 26 deaths in total for the year.

Accidents with machinery and falls have been attributed as the cause of the majority of farm work injuries. The event which is the first time an international meeting on agricultural occupational health and safety had been held in Ireland was attended by Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney who said, ‘People working on farms need to be more conscious of safety requirements, in particular since in many instances they are working on their own. A significant change in mindset is required if we are to prevent further serious farm accidents’.

Bus Driver Awarded Compensation After Fall at Work

A female bus driver has been awarded €553,000 in compensation after a fall on a stairwell meant that she had to take early retirement. In December 2003 Susan Conaty (52), of Arklow, County Wicklow, was walking up a stairwell to the canteen at the Dublin Bus Donnybrook depot when she slipped on liquid split on the landing area. Ms Conaty suffered severe injuries after she fell eight to ten steps and in the end had to retire in 2006 due to the injuries she sustained.

By allowing staff to take drinks from the canteen Mr Justice Iarhflaith O’Neill deemed Dublin Bus to be responsible for her work injuries and awarded her €553,000 in damages.

Class Action Debate Re-opened

The debate about class action suits which is also known as collective redress is to be reopened by the European Commission. They are seeking to develop common standards for dealing with compensation for faulty products across the 27 member states in the European Union. A paper has been drafted by three EU commissioners and public consultations will begin in November.

Some of the issues covered in the brief have been revealed by the Financial Times such as financing class action suits, avoiding abusive litigation, making class actions cheaper than individual claims, , consensual resolutions through mediation and enforcing judgements throughout the EU.

Previous attempts at this have failed due to concerns about costs.

Fireman Settles Compensation Claim

A fireman who fell from a ladder after being ordered by a superior to climb it, has settled a High Court personal injury claim before the jury had the opportunity to award a sum.

Vincent McGuinness, a fireman from Dundalk, County Louth fell five-meters when his ladder collapsed while fighting a fire at a derelict house at Culhane Street, Dundalk in February 2004. He suffered a vertebra injury and was unable to work for five months. It was argued that the hydraulic ladder on the fire truck should have been used instead, the council denied liability for the accident but the High Court was later informed that the claim had been settled.