Healy O'Connor

High Court Decision in Respect of Workplace Injury

In a recent High Court decision of Mr. Justice Cross it was held that both Defendants in a workplace injury claim were jointly and severally liable to pay damages to the Claimant.

The individual Employee who suffered an injury brought an action for negligence and breach of statutory duty against two Defendants after suffering a workplace injury.

The significant injury was suffered to the fingers of the Claimant’s left hand where they were crushed between the edges of a sliding table and a platform while he was pushing the sliding table, which was part of a panel saw machine, to clear a blocked passageway.

Both the Defendants denied liability and the first named Defendant argued that it had carried out a risk assessment on the panel saw machine and that it was the fault of the second named Defendant who was also the manufacturer who supplied a defective product.

In finding that both Defendants were jointly and severally liable, Justice Cross held that it was the duty of the Employer to carry out a periodic risk assessment procedure to ascertain whether any equipment posed a threat to Employees. The Court awarded significant damages for the injury as well as damages for the loss of earnings to date and the loss of earnings into the future along with agreed special damages. These related to out of pocket expenses for medical treatment etc that the Claimant undertook as a result of his injury.

It was interesting to note that the Engineers for all three parties in the case unanimously held that the edge of the table presented a danger in the workplace and thus, it should be remedied. The Court also noted that the manufacturer of the defective product was also liable in negligence for manufacturing a defective product


Personal Injury Department HOC.

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