Friday 20 April 2018

Bus Eireann apologises to family of haulage worker killed when oil tank fell on top of him

Bus Eireann
Bus Eireann

Tim Healy

BUS Éireann has given an apology in the High Court over the tragic death of a haulage worker killed when a 10,000 litre oil tank fell on him while it was being unloaded at a transport depot.

Liudas Padagas (50), a father of two from Carrickmacross in Monaghan and originally from Lithuania, died in the accident while he was delivering the tank to a CIE/Bus Éireann depot in Ballina, Co Mayo, on April 14, 2011. It happened when a lifting machine called a teleporter was unloading the tank which fell on him, causing fatal injuries.

His widow, Rita Padagiene, Woodville, Carrickmacross, sued the bus company and four other firms arising out of the accident.

The case opened before Mr Justice Anthony Barr and following talks was settled earlier today. The settlement is against Bus Éireann which said it wanted to apologise to Ms Padagiene and her two children over the tragic death of Mr Padagas.

Opening the case for the family, Liam Reidy SC, said Bus Éireann had previously accepted responsibility over the death when the company pleaded guilty in the District Court to breaching health and safety law and when it also accepted no blame had attached to Mr Padagas.

Bus Éireann had in this case however "attempted to deflect liability" towards the other defendant companies including Mr Padagas' employer.

He worked for Charles O'Reilly Haulage, Shercock, Co Cavan, which was also sued. The company which supplied the teleporter for the tank unloading, Vincent Ruane Builders Ltd of Ballina, was also a defendant along with the tank suppliers Elmore Group Ltd and the tank manufacturers MCB Tanks Ltd.

Mr Reidy said as a result of Bus Eireann's allegation that Mr Padagas did not stay outside the safety zone for the unloading, when in no such exclusion zone was in place, his client was also seeking exemplary damages.

In her action, Ms Padagiene, whose children are aged 19 and 26, claimed the defendants were negligent in failing, among other breaches, to have any or adequate regard for Mr Padagas' safety.

At Ballina District Court last September Bus Éireann, was fined €3,000, plus €10,571 costs, after pleading guilty to failing to ensure Mr Padagas was not exposed to safety risks.

It also expressed regret and sympathy for the deceased's family. It also said new health and safety measures put in place since the accident.

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