Monday 18 December 2017

Handyman sues Ryanair heiress Danielle Ryan after falling off ladder while clipping mansion ivy

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Stock picture

Tim Healy

A HANDYMAN who fell from scaffolding while clipping ivy from a mansion once owned by the family of aviation entrepreneur Tony Ryan has been awarded €323,000 by the High Court.

Martin Ruffley,  Kilcullen, Co Kildare, sued Cathal and Danielle Ryan, trading as Lala Investments, as a result of the fall when he worked at Stacumny House, Celbridge, Co Kildare, on June 12, 2012.

Stacumny House was the childhood home of actress Danielle Ryan granddaughter of the Ryanair founder and daughter of the late Cathal Ryan.  It was sold in 2013.

Mr Ruffley, a former soldier who worked as a general handyman, lived in a house on the Stacumny estate, the court heard.

He was cutting ivy from the upper part of the house and was stepping from a ladder on to the scaffolding which moved and he fell 14 feet to the ground.

Mr Justice Anthony Barr said had suffered a significant injury as a result of the accident.

The judge was satisfied the pain suffered by Mr Ruffley, who now walks with a limp, was genuine.

Mr Ruffley was "not putting on an act" for the court but is affected by ongoing pain and disability.

The judge also accepted he suffered post traumatic stress disorder and had not deliberately tried to exaggerate his symptoms.

Mr Justice Barr said liability was not an issue in the proceedings.

Mr Ruffley claimed he suffered severe soft tissue injuries to his neck, right shoulder , lower back and legs and and he now uses a crutch to get around.

The defendants claimed Mr Ruffley had not actively engaged in any rehabilitation programme.  If he had participated in a pain management programme after the accident he would have made a satisfactory recovery, it was argued.

The judge awarded him at total of €323,481 including €109,000 for the loss of accommodation he enjoyed while working on the estate.

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