Factory Worker Who Was Injured by Falling Glass Awarded €113k by High Court

Factory Worker Who Was Injured by Falling Glass Awarded €113k by High Court

A glass factory worker has been awarded €113,000 by the High Court after sustaining injuries to his lower limbs and back while at work.

Compression Injuries

The court heard how in March of 2018, the complainant (59) had been working at Tipperary Glass Limited of Railway Road, Templemore, Co Tipperary, when several sheets of glass fell from a trolley on top of him and knocked him to the ground. As a result of the incident, the complainant was left with compression injuries to his lower limbs and back, as well as several lacerations.

According to the employee’s estimation, the trolley had been carrying between 10 and 20 sheets of glass with a combined weight of 100kg. It was further alleged that the accident had occurred because another employee at the factory had failed to properly secure the sheets of glass which were stacked on the trolley.

Permanent Scarring

Following the accident, Mr Justice Garrett Simons that the complainant had been confined to bed for four to six weeks as the injuries took some time to heal. He has also been left with permanent scarring to his legs, and continues to suffer from chronic back pain according to medical evidence that was presented.

Liability in the case had been admitted by Tipperary Glass Limited, and the action was before the court for assessment of damages only.

In his judgement, Mr Justice Simons said that the complainant was entitled to a sum of €75,000 in general damages. This was in addition to a further €38,000 in damages for loss of earnings to date. He is also expected to receive a sum equivalent to four years of earnings in respect of loss of future earnings, the amount of which is to be finalised at a date in the future.

Mr Justice Simons added that the complainant is entitled to a further €7,000 for special damages, with the case returning before the court later this month to deal with outstanding matters.

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.*

Plaintiff in personal injuries action not entitled recover sick pay to compensate his employer

Plaintiff in personal injuries action not entitled recover sick pay to compensate his employer

The High Court has ruled that a successful plaintiff in a personal injuries action was not entitled to special damages to allow him to compensate his employer for sick pay.

Background

Mr Hynes was injured in a road traffic accident in 2011. He sued the driver of the other vehicle and the driver’s employer, Kilkenny County Council. In 2018, the defendants conceded liability for the incident but the parties could not reach agreement on the amount of compensation. Mr Hynes argued that his injures persisted up until 2018 whereas the defendants contended that they had mostly resolved by 2013.

The court applied the Book of Quantum to the plaintiff’s injuries because the issuing of the proceedings pre-dated the new Judicial Guidelines. Mr Hynes was awarded €70,000 for physical injuries and €45,000 for the psychological injuries. He was awarded a further €58,000 for special damages.

A further issue of controversy arose between the parties. Mr Hynes argued that he was obliged to compensate his employer for the sick pay he had been paid arising from the incident. The defendants disagreed that he was under any such legal obligation.

Terms of employment contract

The parties agreed that Mr Hynes’ contract of employment included a right to sick pay and did not include an obligation to repay such monies if recoverable by way of compensation. However, Mr Hynes argued that he had, through his solicitor, given an undertaking to refund the sum of €40,833.02 to his employer.

In deciding against the plaintiff on the point, Mr Justice Simons stated that the contract of employment contained a right to receive sick pay, which was not conditional on an obligation to reimburse the monies paid in the event of receiving compensation. In relation to the purported undertaking given to his employer to repay the money, Mr Justice Simons stated that the plaintiff cannot convert an unrecoverable item into a recoverable item in personal injuries litigation by waiving a contractual right. The judge also found that the purported undertaking given by the plaintiff to his employer was not legally enforceable.

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.*