A 35-year-old train steward, who was punched and “strangled” by a passenger who tried to steal the day’s takings, has been awarded damages in the Circuit Civil Court.
Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke said that by training its employees to count money in front of members of the public, RG On Board Services, which provides food and beverage sales on train, was giving a hostage to fortune.
The company, which denied liability and had entered a full defence to Marcello Massaro’s claim, alleged that the steward had not followed company procedures when he counted the money before the end of the journey.
Judge Groarke heard that Massaro had been counting the takings on a table on a Dublin to Sligo train, when a man took a beer from the food and beverage trolley and refused to pay for it.
Massaro said the man had pushed him and said “give me the money,” before punching him all over his body, including his groin, and trying to strangle him.
He told his barrister, Andrew Whelan, that he had managed to push his attacker back by poking him in the eyes and ordered him to get off at the next station.
The court heard the man smelled of alcohol and after leaving the train he had been apprehended by gardaí.
Massaro, of Bushy park, Ballisodare, Co Sligo, suffered bruising and abrasions, and pain in his throat and neck for several weeks, and had needed time off work. He said he suffered anxiety symptoms for some time after the incident.
He sued his employer, RG On Board Services, with an address at Riverside House, Heuston Station, Dublin, for negligence and breach of duty.
Judge Groarke said Mr Massaro had suffered very minor injuries and awarded him €5,000 damages, along with his legal costs.