Wednesday 20 November 2019

Airport baggage handler sues over electric shock from luggage truck at Dublin Airport

Dublin airport (stock photo)
Dublin airport (stock photo)

An airport baggage handler is suing over an electric shock he says he received when he plugged his luggage truck in for charging.

Keith Doyle, who was driving the truck to meet incoming and outgoing planes at Dublin Airport, said he was stuck to the ground and unable to shout after the electric shock went up his arms.

Mr Doyle told a High Court judge he managed to remove his grip and fell back with all his muscles contracted and he looked  like "an upside down turtle”.

At the start, he said he felt lucky not to have suffered major physical injuries in the 2010 incident.

But he later suffered from panic attacks which left him with intense fear, despair and chest pains.

Mr Doyle (29) who travelled  from Australia for the case but who is originally from McKelvey Avenue, Finglas, Dublin,  has sued the Dublin Airport Authority and his employer at the time, Sky Handling Partner Ltd, Corballis Business Park, Dublin Airport.  He has also sued the lessor of the baggage truck TCR Ireland Ltd with offices at Dublin Airport.

He claims he was exposed to unnecessary risk of injury or harm and there was an alleged failure to provide him with a safe place of work.

The claims were denied by all defendants who allege contributory negligence on the part of Mr Doyle.

In evidence, Mr Doyle said he was working airside on the runway on September 20,2010  when he was plugging in the baggage truck which pulled the large trolley full of suitcases to and from planes.

He said he had been told to keep the truck charged up so that it was ready for the next flight in or out.

“I got an electric shock; it was painful. I could not scream. My body would not let me shout,” he said.

He managed to pull off first one hand and then his other hand and fell back. He said he was brought to hospital where he was diagnosed with soft tissue damage to his hands, wrists and left shoulder.

Mr Doyle told the court he later suffered panic attacks including one during a stop over in Thailand on a long haul flight to Australia and he  had to return to Dublin.

He emigrated to Australia where he works as a welder.

The case before Mr Justice Kevin Cross continues.

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