Council worker awarded €257,000 for fall
A COUNCIL worker who tripped over a cable while carrying a ladder has been awarded €257,000 damages by the High Court.
The award to Liam Murray (55) was reduced from €342,799 to just over €257,000 after a judge found him one-quarter liable for the accident.
Mr Murray, from Cleggan Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin, had to give up deep sea fishing and playing the bagpipes after hurting his right shoulder and neck in the accident, the court heard.
Mr Murray, a Dublin City Council employee, had sued the ESB as a result of the accident at Beech Road, Sandymount, on August 17, 2009.
He had claimed he was walking along the road when he fell on cabling emerging from the base of a street lamp. He claimed the ESB was negligent.
The ESB admitted liability, but claimed there was contributory negligence on the part of Mr Murray.
It was claimed that a day after the incident, he noticed pain radiating from the right side of his neck into his elbow and went to St James's Hospital for an X-ray. He later had to undergo surgery.
In her judgment, Ms Justice Mary Irvine said that for some unexplained reason Mr Murray did not see a large spool of electrical cable in front of him.
Everybody, she said, must take care for their own safety as footpaths can be hazardous.
Mr Murray, she said, would have been required to report dangers to his employers and would have been more aware than most. She said he should have seen the cable and applied a 25pc reduction for contributory negligence.
The judge said he fell on his shoulder but was, after treatment, able to continue work that day and to later take photographs of the scene.
Mr Murray, she said, had made little effort to return to gainful employment after his accident. The judge accepted he could not do heavy lifting, but she said he could do some jobs such as a car park attendant.