Wednesday 22 March 2017

Firefighter who claimed he slipped off fire tender because of oil on his boots loses action

South Tipperary County Council denied the claims (Stock Photo)
South Tipperary County Council denied the claims (Stock Photo)

A firefighter who sued after he claimed he slipped and fell off a fire tender because of oil on the soles of his boots has lost his High Court action for damages.

Mr Justice Anthony Barr said what happened firefighter Arthur Fitzell who was dealing with a tanker oil spillage was "an unfortunate accident"  and not caused by any wrongdoing on the part of his employer.

Mr Fitzell (47), who is a store manager and station officer at Cashel Fire Station, had sued South Tipperary County Council as a result of the slip and fall on January 4, 2012, while he was working on the clean up after an oil spillage at Cooper's Lot, Clonmel Road, Cashel , Co Tipperary.

He claimed there was oil on the soles of his boots and as a result he slipped.

South Tipperary County Council denied the claims.

It contended Mr Fitzell was a seinor fire fighter who had experience dealing with oil spillages and would have known it was inevitable that oil would adhere to his soles and they would become prone to slip as a result.

It also contended Mr Fitzell's accident simply happened because he did not take sufficient care when descending from the fire tender.

Mr Justice Barr, dismissing the claim, said: "Accidents happen and sometimes they happen without any fault on the part of the employer."

He was satisfied this accident was not due to any negligence or breach of duty on the part of the defendant.

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