BT Employees Still Able to Claim for Loss of Hearing Caused by Faulty Headsets

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

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.