Worker (32) awarded €356,000 for fall off ladder
A cable television installation inspector who fell when the ladder he was on was hit by a gust of wind has been awarded €356,000 in High Court damages.
Gintaras Katkevicius had suffered a very serious life-changing injury and was left with scarring and had already developed osteoarthritis after dislocating his wrist in the fall, Mr Justice Kevin Cross said.
The 32-year-old had gone from being an active young man who had come to work here from Lithuania at the height of the recession to somebody who has not worked since his accident four years ago, the judge said.
Mr Katkevicius,Rochfort Park, Lucan, Co Dublin, had sued his employer, Ipone Ltd, with offices at Danville Business Park, Kilkenny, as a result of the accident on March 10, 2011.
He had claimed there was an alleged failure to ensure all equipment with which he was required to work was properly secure and fitted or could not become a danger or hazard to those lawfully using it.
He further claimed there was an alleged failure to provide any or any adequate equipment for the safe and proper securing of ladders upon which employees were required to work.
The claims were denied.
Ipone contended Mr Katkevicius was the author of his own misfortune for getting up on a ladder on a windy day.
Winds on the day ranged from 35 to 50 KPH with gusts of 80 KPH, the company said.
Mr Katkevicius worked as a quality check inspector on cable TV installations for Ipone.
On the day of the accident he had gone to Rathgar Road in Dublin to check on a digital TV signal.
It was his third job of the day and he secured a ladder with a stopper mat against a mock Grecian pillar.
The judge said while Mr Katkevicius was on it, a gust of wind blew the ladder so that it flipped and he fell to the ground.
Rejecting there was contributory negligence on behalf of Mr Katkevicius, Mr Justice Cross said he believed that Mr Katkevicius was an intelligent man who would not have climbed the ladder if he thought it was excessively windy.
On the application of Noel McMahon SC, for Ipone, the Judge granted a stay in the event of an appeal providing €200,000 was paid out immediately to Mr Katkevicius.