Man awarded €640k following accident with cherry picker
A MAN has been awarded more than €640,000 after he suffered serious injuries when a cherry picker machine he was on toppled over.
Alan Hughes (45), Kishawanny, Edenderry, Co Offaly, got in to the cherry picker to help hold a branch away from an ESB wire while it was cut with a chainsaw, the High Court heard.
He had sued Derek Carter of Drehid, Carbury, Co Kildare, who had been called in to carry out drainage and hedge cutting work at the side of Mr Hughes home on July 10, 2010.
Liability was admitted in the case but Mr Carter pleaded there had been contributory negligence on Mr Hughes' behalf.
Ms Justice Bronagh O'Hanlon found the accident would not have occurred had the vehicle been secured.
She said the cause of the accident was instability and toppling "caused by the negligent disregard on the part of the defendant by not utilising the stabilisers on the cherry picker."
Ms Justice O'Hanlon said the case involved a tragic accident where Mr Hughes was gravely injured when the cherry picker he was invited to stand on toppled over.
Mr Hughes suffered fractures to his spine and was in hospital until mid August 2010 and also had to spend six weeks at the Rehabilitation Centre, Dun Laoghaire.
He has lost co-ordination of the arm and leg and has had to have surgery to stabilise his neck.
Making the award totalling €640,933, Ms Justice O'Hanlon also said Mr Hughes was not guilty of contributory negligence.
The judge said it was clear from the medical evidence that Mr Hughes will never really be able to work again because of his various physical and neurological problems.
She granted a stay on the award in the event of an appeal to the Supreme Court providing there is a payout of €450,000 to Mr Hughes.