herald

Wednesday 29 January 2020

Lift company guilty of safety breach in crush death of boy

Solomon Soremekun (3)
Solomon Soremekun (3)

A lift installation company has pleaded guilty to a breach of health and safety regulations after an incident which led to the death of a three-year-old boy.

Solomon Soremekun died after he suffered crush injuries in incident in Galway city on January 13, 2014.

Yesterday, at Galway Circuit Criminal Court Simon Adair, a director of Ennis Lifts, pleaded guilty on behalf of the company.

The court heard the lift had been constructed 20 years ago.

Maintenance

Senior Counsel for the prosecution, Kerida Naidoo, said the offence was constructing the lift with a space that was larger than it was supposed to be under the law.

Causation, he said, was not an element of the offence.

"They had no involvement with the lift for eight years prior to the accident taking place," Ronan Kennedy, defending counsel, said.

"And while Ennis Lifts was not responsible for the maintenance, there is evidence the lift was in poor maintenance at the time of the accident."

Health and Safety Authority officer Mark Madigan agreed with Mr Naidoo that the offence before the court came down to a single design feature. He said a lift engineer examined the lift the day after the tragedy.

Judge Rory McCabe adjourned sentence to next Friday to consider complex legal submissions made during the lengthy hearing yesterday.

The judge had earlier refused an application made by a barrister representing the child's father who wished for his views to be made known to the court.

The judge said that if harm had been caused, that was not what the court was required to deal with in the resolution of sentencing in the case.

The company has reviewed all of its portfolios of lift installations and this was undertaken to ensure that this particular deficit did not occur any place else. "Any remedial action that was needed to be taken was taken in a timely fashion," Mr Kennedy said.

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