Army Sergeant awarded €79,900 for accident while on tour of duty
THE High Court has awarded €76,900 to Army Sergeant who suffered injuries to his eyes after a tyre on an armoured personnel vehicle exploded while he was examining it.
Quartermaster Sgt Martin Bolger (44), from Thomastown, Co Kilkenny, said he was on UN duty in Monrovia, Liberia in July 2006 when the tyre of a MOWAG Armoured personnel carrier exploded without warning.
His face was just inches away from the tyre at the time as he was examining it after noticing a bulge while inspecting the vehicle, he said.
The bang was so loud others thought the base was being attacked by mortar fire or by a grenade, he said
As a result of the incident, Sgt. Bolger claims he suffered significant injuries to his eyes and injuries to his hearing.
In proceedings against the Minister for Defence, Ireland and the Attorney General, he has alleged negligence and breach of duty of care arising from the incident.
Liability has been admitted and the case is before the President of the High Court for assessment of damages only.
Giving the courts ruling today, the President of the High Court Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns said that he was satisfied to awarded Sgt. who he described as an "exemplary soldier," a total of €76,900 plus costs.
Sgt had suffered injuries in an unfortunate accident and anyone who has had a condition with their eyes would have sympathy for him.
The court heard that as a result of the explosion Sgt Bolger was subsequently diagnosed with injuries to his hearing as well Residual Erosion Syndrome, a painful condition affecting the cornea of the eye.
The Sergeant, who has been in the Defence Forces for more than 20 years including tours of duty abroad, has remained in the army and is undergoing continual medical treatment for his eye condition.