Saturday 20 January 2018

Airport worker injured when mini avalanche of snow and ice fell on him settles €60k case

William Watson pictured leaving the Four Courts
William Watson pictured leaving the Four Courts

Ray Managh

An airport worker, who was injured when a mini avalanche of snow and ice fell on his head from the curved roof of the new Terminal 2 seven years ago, has settled a €60,000 damages claim against the Dublin Airport Authority.

Barrister Liam Bell, counsel for the injured party William Watson, told Judge Mary O’Malley Costello in the Circuit Civil Court today Thursday that the claim had been settled following talks between the legal teams.

Mr Bell, who appeared with Dermot McNamara Solicitors, said the case could be struck out with an order for the plaintiff’s legal costs against the DAA.  The amount of the financial settlement was not publicly disclosed in court.

Mr Watson, who is 57, of Kilcrea, Donabate, Co Dublin, claimed he had been working at the new terminal during the heavy snowfall of early December 2010.

He alleged that he had been hit by a sheet of snow and ice which fell from the roof of Terminal 2, which had then been only recently completed.

Dermot McNamara and Company, solicitors, who issued proceedings on his behalf had stated in a Civil Bill that Mr Watson had been hit on the head and body leaving him with neck and back pain.

It was claimed by Watson’s legal team that the incident had been caused by the negligence, breach of contract and breach of duty to the plaintiff, stating DAA had failed to warn him of the danger of a large fall of snow from the roof.

Watson claimed the defendant had failed to cordon off the area where a fall of snow and ice was likely to occur and had not cleared large build-ups of snow on the roof of the terminal. He alleged he had not been provided with a safety helmet.

He alleged that he sustained trauma to his head and a soft tissue injury to his neck and shoulders.  He had attended his doctor on December 6, 2010, six days after the accident and had complained of severe headache and pains to his neck and lower back.

He had been prescribed painkilling medication and referred for an MRI scan.  When seen in July 2011 he was noted to be continuing to suffer pain from bad headaches and neck and lower back.  It was the opinion of his doctor at that time that he was likely to continue to suffer pain for a further six months.

Judge O’Malley Costello struck out the proceedings with an order for Watson’s costs.  The DAA had been represented by barrister Shane English, who appeared with David Martin of Gore Grimes Solicitors.

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