Saturday 1 October 2016

Company awarded €80,000 after security employee allowed €33,000 worth of stock to be stolen from warehouse

Published 09/03/2016 | 16:32

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AN electrical appliance manufacturer has been awarded just under €80,000 by the High Court after a security company employee allowed €33,000 worth of stock to be stolen from its Dublin warehouse.

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The security man was recorded on CCTV a number of times over a six month period leaving Electrolux's wholesale distribution centre in his Jaguar car shortly after a white van had loaded up stock from the warehouse, the court heard. The security man had permitted the van to enter and leave.

Electrolux Ireland sued G4S Security Systems (Irl) claiming it was in breach of contract to provide a proper security service at its Longmile Road warehouse.

The firm claimed €103,000, comprising the cost of the stolen household white goods as well as payments it made to G4S to cover wages for the security man over a two-and-a-half year period.

G4S accepted the thefts took place but argued the sum should be limited to around €50,000, comprising €33,000 for the appliances and around €17,000 for the security man's payments relating only to the six months in 2011 when the stock was stolen.

Mr Justice Michael White said G4S had a responsibility to monitor its employees particularly in circumstances where this security man was "copping off" hours before his shift was due to end.

He awarded the agreed losses of €50,703 for the stock and payments to G4S for security for the January to June 2011 period.

To that he added general damages in relation to the 2008-2010 period during which the court was entitled to infer the security man also knocked off work up to three hours early each night, he said.

The total award was €79,863.

The court heard the thefts came to light when an audit showed discrepancies in stock.

As a result, a security expert for Electrolux reviewed CCTV evidence of between January and June 2011 and discovered 19 times when the thefts took place.  Previous recordings had been overwritten.

The security man was employed on a split morning and evening shift to open up and lock up the premises.

Electrolux claimed they employed G4S to provide static security at its premises up to 11pm.

On several of those occasions, the security man was seen getting into his Jag and leaving, usually between 7 and 8pm, shortly after the white van left, the court heard.

The G4S contract was terminated shortly after the thefts came to light, the court also heard.

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