Sunday 17 November 2019

Garda who quit due to depression over injury gets €76,000

Stock photo
Stock photo

Ray Managh

A garda whose finger was broken by a person being deported quit the force 10 years early because of depression after the incident and sued the State for €310,893 loss of earnings.

He also claimed damages for personal injuries related to the physical damage to his right little finger almost 20 years ago, Mr Justice Michael Twomey said in a High Court compensation ruling.

Judge Twomey said the loss-of-earnings figure had been claimed on the basis that the incident in which his finger had been broken had led to him becoming depressed and being forced to retire from the force.

The judge, who said the case involved very personal details about the garda's family, decided to anonymise his compensation application and referred to the garda only as Garda B throughout a reserved judgment.

He awarded €42,699 for loss of earnings, €10,000 for physical pain and suffering arising from his fractured finger and €10,000 for psychological pain and suffering caused by his depression arising from the incident.

Judge Twomey also awarded the garda €8,180 for out-of-pocket medical expenses associated with both the physical and mental suffering and €5,100 for loss of earnings due to absence on sick leave because of the fracture alone - a total sum of €75,981 damages.

He said Garda B had received two injections and no other treatment for the fracture and made a full physical recovery.

The main issue in the case remained the extent to which Garda B's psychiatric injuries could be attributed to the incident when his little finger had been fractured.

Judge Twomey said awards must be fair both to a plaintiff and defendant and modest damages should be awarded for minor injuries, moderate damages for middling injuries and severe injuries should attract damages which were distinguishable from catastrophic injuries.

The damages had also to be proportionate to the general cap of €450,000.

Irish Independent

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