Monday 16 September 2019

€41,000 for firefighter who was injured on stairs during training drill

Liam Kelly won his action against Offaly County Council. Photo: Collins
Liam Kelly won his action against Offaly County Council. Photo: Collins

Tim Healy

A fireman who claimed he suffered injuries when he slipped on stairs during a training drill has been awarded more than €41,000 by the High Court.

Liam Kelly told Mr Justice Kevin Cross he suffered a muscle-tearing injury to his calf in a twisting manoeuvre as he fell down two steps. Mr Kelly, with an address at Fr Paul Murphy Street, Edenderry, Co Offaly, sued Offaly County Council over the accident on June 4, 2013, during a three-man exercise to get accustomed to new breathing equipment.

He told the court he was carrying a "dummy casualty" with a colleague and was going backwards down a stairs in a three-man "blindman shuffle" in a dark building when the accident happened.

Mr Justice Cross said another fireman had gone "out of contact" with Mr Kelly and he was not there to restrain Mr Kelly and prevent the accident occurring.

He said the firemen in the case gave truthful evidence, according to their recollections and belief. The judge said the calf injury was moderate but very painful for Mr Kelly.

He also said drill exercises were essential and must be regularly carried out.

Mr Kelly had claimed there was an alleged failure to ensure his co-workers provided any or any adequate physical support to him as he attempted to negotiate his way down the stairs.

The claims were denied.

The county council contended Mr Kelly was an experienced fireman and the task on the day was properly executed and supervised at all times. It denied Mr Kelly slipped and lost his footing as alleged, but if he did, it was caused by his own alleged negligence.

Irish Independent

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