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€330k for wife of man killed by manhole cover


Agnieszka Burczak

Agnieszka Burczak

Agnieszka Burczak

THE widow of a 31-year-old road worker who died when he was struck on the head by the cover of a manhole in an accident has settled her High Court action for €330,000.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross, approving the settlement, said it was a particularly tragic accident for a young man who came to this country from Poland and worked hard through a recession to have this happen to him.

"It is a terrible tragedy which will live with his family for the rest of their lives," the judge said.

Agnieszka Burczak, Hunters Brook, Delgany, Co Wicklow, had sued over the death of her husband Grzegorz Burczak on June 12, 2012.

The settlement was approved yesterday, but the case will come back to court on February 12 next when the court will rule on how much each of the defendants and a third party, which was brought in to the case at a later stage, have to pay out.

Mrs Burczak had sued car driver Michael Murphy, of Ardmore Park, Kill Avenue, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, and RSJ Civil Limited, a civil engineering company of South Winds, South Quay, Arklow, Co Wicklow.


She claimed there was an alleged failure by Mr Murphy to steer a proper and safe course and an alleged failure by RSJ Civil Limited to provided a system whereby traffic was adequately warned of the works being carried out.

It was further claimed that Mr Burczak was emerging from the manhole on the public roadway at Kill Avenue, Dun Laoghaire, when he was hit by the manhole cover.

Senior Counsel Raymond Comyn said it was a desperately sad case where Mr Burczak was working on a manhole cover.

Counsel said residents of Kill Avenue had complained of noise particularly at night when cars went over the manholes and the covers rattled.

Counsel said it was a simple job of fitting gaskets on the manhole covers and Mr Burczak was working on his second cover when the accident happened.

Counsel said it appeared Mr Murphy, who was driving a car, struck a cone on the road and it was either dragged or thrown forward so it hit the open manhole cover which struck Mr Burczak on the head killing him instantly.

The court heard Mr Burczak had one child who is now about 11 years of age.