Saturday 19 January 2019

Widow awarded €500k after husband was killed when truck tyre exploded

The High Court, Dublin
The High Court, Dublin

Aodhan O'Faolain

The family of a mechanic who died after the truck tyre he was inflating exploded has settled its High Court action for €500,000.

Father of three Mariusz Cwenar (39) suffered a very tragic death in the workplace accident, the court was told.

Mr Cwenar's widow Gabriela Cwenar of Rosebank Place, Clondalkin, Dublin, sued her husband's employer, Emerald Truck and Van Ltd, as a result of the accident at its plant in Grants Hill, Greenogue Business Park, Rathcoole, Co Dublin,  on October 23, 2014.

Counsel said Mr Cwenar was a highly regarded and diligent employee who met a most untimely death when the tyre exploded.

Mr Cwenar a Polish national, had worked for Emerald Truck and Van for ten years prior to the accident.

It was claimed employees had been allegedly permitted to to use tyre inflation equipment that required them to stand in proximity to the tyre thereby exposing them to a risk of serious or fatal injury.

It was further claimed that employees were allowed to inflate truck tyres without the use of long airline hoses or a protective cage which would contain an explosion and prevent serious injury.

The claims were denied.

Mr Kean told the court that liability was at issue in the case. One aspect of that would have been that the mechanic had repaired a puncture in the tyre but it was claimed he had been told not to.

Counsel said his side would have said the tyre would have exploded without any repair as it had been driven deflated.

A jury at the inquest in to he death of Mr Cwenar last year returned a verdict of death by misadventure and made an industry-wide recommendation that safety measures be reviewed where compressed air is used to inflate HGV tyres.

The inquest also heard new safety procedures have been put in place since the accident.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Bernard Barton expressed his condolences to the Cwenar family.

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