Reduced compensation awarded to worker injured at Goodman-owned meat factory

The High Court judge rejected as 'farcical' ABP's efforts to establish worker had been exaggerating his symptoms

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A meat factory employee injured in a workplace accident has had a €257,000 award reduced to €227,000 by the Court of Appeal.

The award was made in 2013 by the High Court to Hany Boles (53), Beech Park, Cahir, Co Tipperary, over the accident at the ABP Ireland plant in Cahir on May 25, 2007.

He was injured when he was hit on the head by a seven-yard long conveyor bench which he was assisting in manoeuvring it through a narrow passage in the plant.

Mr Boles, an Egyptian national who became an Irish citizen in 2012, had been working in the plant washing knives, trays and aprons used by butchers in its abattoir.

In the aftermath of the accident, he developed headaches and left sided pain in the are or his neck and shoulder.  He was unable to return to work.

He sued ABP Ireland, trading as ABP Cahir.

A High Court judge rejected as "farcical" ABP's efforts to establish Mr Boles had likely been exaggerating his symptoms so as to allow him remain out of work while claiming social welfare and pursuing other interests.

The High Court also rejected as unmeritorious and unreasonable ABP's attempts to show he was a malingerer.

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ABP appealed the High Court decision.

Upholding the High Court's findings, Ms Justice Mary Irvine, on behalf of the three-judge appeal court, said there could be no doubt the trial judge was fully satisfied Mr Boles was a credible and sincere witness who had not sought to exaggerate his injuries or symptoms.

However, Ms Justice Irvine found it difficult to accept the award of €90,000 of general damages, as part of the overall award, was just fair or proportionate.   

She said Mr Boles was not an inpatient in hospital at any stage, did not require surgical intervention and was not receptive, or in a position to tolerate, treatments of any nature with the result that he was principally treated with pain killing medication.

She therefore reduced the €90,000 sum to €60,000, giving an overall revised award of €227,000.

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