Worker loses damages case after suing employer over chair accident
A SCREEN operator who fell off her office chair has lost a €38,000 damages claim in the Circuit Civil Court.
Karen O'Toole (43), of Eastham Court, Bettystown, Co Meath, told Judge Jacqueline Linnane that on January 12, 2009 she had been attending a meeting at her workplace, Sonopress Ireland Ltd, when the accident happened.
She said noise from the production floor had made it difficult to hear the manager, who directed people to move closer towards him. Ms O'Toole had put her hands between her legs to move the chair forward when it suddenly fell from under her.
The court was told that a loose caster on the chair had been adjusted a few days before the incident.
Barrister Conor Kearney, for Sonopress Ireland Ltd, told the court that at no stage had the company been informed of a defect in the chair. Expert examination of the chair, which had been put in storage immediately after Ms O'Toole's incident, had not revealed any fault.
Mr Kearney said CCTV footage of the incident showed that Ms O'Toole fell over her chair as she attempted to move it forward.
Ms O'Toole said she had broken her left wrist in the fall and had to wear a cast for several weeks.
She sued Sonopress Ireland Ltd, of IDA Industrial Estate, Stevenstown, Balbriggan, Co Dublin, for negligence.
However, Judge Linnane said no evidence of a loose caster had been produced to the court, nor had it been mentioned at any time before the hearing.
She dismissed the case.