British Telecom employees are still be able to pursue compensation for any loss of hearing they suffered as a result of faulty headsets provided by the company, but the deadline for claims is now subject to the three-year rule imposed by the Statute of Limitations, the company announced in June last year.

BT had said that it will allow workers to claim for compensation for a limitless period of time after acknowledging that some of their workers were given faulty headsets in August 2010, when the Watkins v British Telecom was taken.  The Statute of Limitations will come into effect for all claims as of January 1, 2013, it announced last June.

BT's acknowledgement that they had provided faulty headsets to their engineers led to several employees pursuing claims for compensation for loss of hearing, some of which occurred years before. 

Gardai Paid €6.7m in Compensation in 2012

Gardai were paid a total of €6.7m in compensation for assault settlements, figures obtained under the Freedom of Information At have revealed. Soft tissue injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder and back injuries were among the most common injuries claimed for, according to the documents.

All of the 121 cases were made for malicious acts taken against Gardai and include three cases of Garda suffering from depression after being threatened with a shotgun, one of a Garda being hit in the head with a bottle, and six where Garda were bitten by humans. The second highest payment to a Garda was recorded during the year -- €790,000 for back injuries and post-traumatic stress suffered after an assault. The largest ever -- €990,000 - was made to a Garda in 2008 who was shot in the knee. 

Baggage Handler Resolves Electric Shock Claim with DAA and Servisair

A Dublin Airport baggage handler has resolved a claim brought against his employer for two electric shocks he sustained while performing his job in 2009. Patrick Kemmy from Blanchardstown was attempting to connect an electric cable to a Boeing 737 aircraft when he was shocked twice.

The accident left Patrick with a tingling sensation in his right arm - which he still experiences intermittently to this day. He also suffered from headaches, neck pains and a shortness of breath. Patrick has missed work nine or ten times due to the injury.

The shock was caused by an ingress of water into the electric cable, which he claimed had not be properly maintained by the Dublin Airport Authority and Servisair. Despite denying liability, the parties engaged with Patrick to settle his claim out of court shortly before the action was expected to be brought before the High Court. 

Finglas Plumber Awarded Compensation for Work Accident

A plumber form Finglas, Dublin has been awarded €6,750 in compensation for breaking his ankle after tripping over a stray wire at the Dun Laoghaire Golf Club. Barry McGrath had just finished working on the golf course in May 2010 when he tripped on a wire on his way out of work. He was subsequently taken to the VHI Swiftcare Clinic at Dublin City University to have his injuries assessed.

Left unable to work by his injury, Barry pursued his claim against Cosgraves Developments, the managers of the site at which he was injured. Cosgraves denied liability, claiming that the wire over which Barry tipped should have been noticed by him as it was bright blue and easy to spot. 

Waiter Taking Action Against Former Employers

A former waiter at the Slieve Russell Hotel in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan has had his claim for compensation against his former employers heard by the High Court. Robert Miloch, who is suing the Slieve Russell Hotel and its parent company, Quinn Hotels Limited, for a back injury he sustained while attending to his daily duties.

Miloch, who was unable to walk after two discs in his back crushed a nerve when he attempted to retrieve breakfast trays from a cart at the hotel, was unable to walk home after sustaining the injury. In support of his claim, Miloch showed the court an MRI scan of his injury at the time it happened.

Both defendants are disputing Milcoh;s claim, saying that his injuries could have been caused by a car accident in which he was involved later in the year; adding that Miloch's doctor described his injury as "paradoxical". 

Slips, Trips and Falls Among Most Common Workplace Claims

Slips, trips and falls in the workplace are among the most commonly reported injuries in the workplace, new figures released by the Injuries Board to coincide with "World Day for Health and Safety at Work" have revealed. Slips, trips and falls injuries contributed substantially to the €22,500,000 Assessed by the Injuries Board in 2011, it said.

While the value of claims falling overall year-on-year, most of the fall has been put down to a smaller workforce and not improvements in health and safety standards.

"While our figures point to a downward trend in the number of claims for workplace accidents, the main driver for this is a contracting workforce rather than notable advices in health and safety programmes," commented Patricia Byron, InjuriesBoard.ie chief executive. "We understand that businesses today are under constant pressure to drive efficiencies, often operating with scare resources, but cutting corners on employee safety is a cut too far."

RTE Worker Awarded €18,500 for Elbow Injury

A props assistant at State broadcaster RTE has been awarded €18,500 in compensation at the Circuit Civil Court for injuries he sustained after trying to unsnag a curtain during a studio rehearsal of The Saturday Night Show. Arthur McMullan of Goatstown, Dublin, injured his elbow in the fall, colliding with a studio lamp after hitting the floor in February 2010.

As part of his claim McMullan said that RTE was aware that the curtain had been presenting a persistent problem to workers, and as part of his evidence, showed a clip of host Brendan O'Connor being forced to hold back the curtain during a band performance. McMullan also benefited from testimony provided by one of his colleagues. 

Family of Man Crushed By Digger Awarded Compensation

The family of a man crushed to death between two diggers at his workplace in Co Wicklow have been granted €550,000 in compensation by Mr Justice John Quirke at the High Court. Twenty-seven-year-old Ronan Conway was killed when he went to investigate something which had fallen on the ground where he was working. On leaving the cab of the digger, Conway was crushed by the two diggers, in one of which he had failed to lock the safety lever in place.

Conway's employers, OB Hire and Sales Limited disputed liability, claiming that Conway failed to heed advice which was given to him when taught how to operate a digger. They claimed that his own negligence led to his accident. 

Family of Fatal Forklift Accident Victim Receives €350,000

The family of a Lithuanian man has been awarded €350,000 in compensation for his death, which happened when he was crushed to death while working in a lighting store in Co Waterford. Rimydas Valteras of New Ross, Co Wexford was killed while standing on a forklift being operated by a colleague at Harte Designs of Adamstown, Co Wexford. The forklift crashed while Valteras was standing on it, resulting in fatal crush injuries.

The forklift driver Emmet Delaney and the pair's employer, Harte Designs, both accepted liability for Valteras/ death. Mr Justice John Quirke awarded the family €325,000 to compensate them for the earnings missed out on due to the death, and an additional €24,600 to represent their pain and suffering. 

Postal Worker Awarded €16,000 for Unavoidable Toe Injury

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A postal worker who took action against his employer for injuries he sustained at work has won his claim for injuries at work at the Circuit Court in Dublin. Edward Pyne suffered an avoidable injury at work in November 2006 when he damaged his big toe on his right foot after a package of floorboards fell onto it. Pyne had to undergo several operations for an ingrown toenail he suffered as a result of the accident, which he claimed also developed several infections.

Circuit Court president Matthew Deery awarded Pyne €16,000 in compensation after hearing how An Post should have supplied him with steel-capped boots as part of his postal uniform. The postman had only recently worn out a pair which had been provided to him three years previously. 

A former Garda has been awarded €40,000 in Garda compensation for injuries he sustained while trying to apprehend a motorbike thief in July 2001. Eamonn Fitzgerald, from Cork, told Ms Justice Mary Irvine that the court that he and a colleague were attempting to apprehend the thief, who had pinned Eammon's colleague to the floor. After trying to pull their thief away, Fitzgerald was tossed down some concrete steps. After landing awkwardly, the Garda had to spend six weeks in hospital recovering from his injuries.

The damages will be paid by the Minister for Finance. 

Soldier Widow Awarded €100,000 from State

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The widow of a peace-keeping soldier has been awarded €100,000 for the loss of her husband, who died more than 20 years ago while serving overseas. Private Maddix Armstrong (26) was killed by a landmine while on patrol near the town of Brashit in Lebanon on March 21. 1989

Maddix's widow, Grainne, alleged that the State had failed in its responsibility to take all reasonable precautions to ensure her husband's safety. She took action against the State and the Minister for Defence. Grainne alleged that Maddix was told to travel by truck into an area with an ever-present danger of landmines without remote-sensing equipment and with no prior search of the area carried out.

Defence Minister Alan Shatter later announced that a review in Maddix's death, and the two soldiers he was with at the time, would be carried out. 

Garda Awarded €100,000 for Stab Wound

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A Garda Sergeant has been awarded €100,000 in compensation for physical and psychological injuries he sustained while trying to subdue a knife-wielding man in Fermoy, Co Cork, on New Years' Eve 2006. Sergeant John Liston of Mallow, Co Cork, had earlier in the night been involved in a light-hearted conversation with the man, whose father was known to him.

Although the earlier conversation had passed off without incident, the man later pulled out knives from under his coat after being refused entry to a local nightclub. Sergeant Liston was stabbed in the side and had to undergo surgery on his wounds.

It was later discovered that the man who had stabbed Sgt Liston later turned his knives on himself, committing suicide.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine awarded Sgt Liston €100,000 in general damages compensation, and a further €6,400 to address his costs. 

Truck Driver Receives €80,000 for Facial Injury

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A truck driver from Kildare has been awarded €80,000 compensation for serious facial injuries he received after being struck by a steel wedge. Thirty-eight-year-old Keith Dowling was nearly decapitated by the wedge, Mr Justice John McMenamin heard. The wedge, which was being used to secure the ballast weight to the trailer at the time it detached, caused permanent damage to Mr Dowling's face. It was being hammered into place by a co-worker when it happened.

Farm Fatalities Up More than 100% in 2010

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Irish farm fatalities more than doubled in 2010, a report released by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has revealed. 25 farmers died while tending to their farms in 2010, a 127% increase on the 11 who died in 2009.

"Farming is a difficult and challenging occupation, may involved are self-employed and the pressures that farmers are under cans be intense at times. However, the fact is that the types of farm accidents that are causing deaths and serious accidents, such as those involving livestock and machinery, can be prevented," commented Martin O'Halloran, chief executive of the HSA.

O'Halloran also urged farmers to follow the example set in the construction industry, which has seen a substantial drop in fatal accidents in recent years. He attributed this turn around to everyone "buying in" to health and safety. 

Garda Claimants Shared €12m in Compensation in 2009

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Garda claimants around Ireland shared €12m in compensation in 2009, newly released figures have revealed. The claims, made under the Garda Siochana Compensation Acts covered both Garda who pursued compensation, and civilians who were injured on Garda property, who are also entitled to claim under the act. The highest award paid out was €132,000.

Over €3m was paid for accidents involving Garda squad cars, the Controller and Auditor General has said. Payments ranged from €2 to €250,000 and were made in 230 cases resulting from 532 accidents. 

Waterford Teenager Awarded €1.28m for Lost Leg

A teenager from Co Waterford has been awarded €1.28m in damages for an accident on a farm in April 2001. TJ Kearns, who had been working for John Joe Flynn, Eugene Flynn and Gerald Flynn at the time, lost a leg in the accident, which happened after he became entangled in a power seed sowing machine. The tractor pulling the machine was being driven by an adult.

TJ Kearns sued through his father, Tom. As is common in workplace compensation claims, the defendants admitted liability.

Speaking while approving the settlement, Mr Justice John Quirke said that no amount of money could compensate TJ for what happened. TJ now uses as artificial leg.