Four courts: Mr Justice Anthony Barr made the award this Friday
A LIMERICK steelworker who suffered “near fatal” and severe personal injuries has been awarded €675,116 at the High Court.
Mr Justice Anthony Barr awarded the sum to John Gardiner, 59, from Limerick city, who took a case against Zinc Processors Limited as a result of an incident on August 9, 2012, at its factory premises at Drombanna, county Limerick.
The defendant, which trades as Shannonside Galvanising, accepted negligence in its defence.
As part of his work, Mr Gardiner was required to move a jig from a dryer.
While carrying out this activity, suddenly the jig became detached from one of the hooks on the crane.
The jig then struck Mr Gardiner and he was forced forward into a barrier and pinned between the jig and the barrier.
The court heard that he suffered near fatal and severe personal injuries, loss, damage and expense.
The plaintiff said that he was shocked, distressed and in pain after the accident, could not breath, and believed that he would die.
The court heard that he had six previous accidents at work but did not take any claim for damages in respect of these incidents.
Following the incident in 2012, he was rushed by emergency ambulance to the Accident & Emergency Department of the Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Limerick where he was admitted to the High Dependency Unit, and remained in hospital for 10 days.
As a result of the accident, he sustained a total of 13 rib fractures, fractures of the vertebrae, two punctured lungs, a fracture of his left scapula, reduced vision, reduced senses of taste and smell, significant respiratory difficulties, post-traumatic stress syndrome, amongst other health complaints.
He was out of work for one year after the accident and returned to the workplace in August 2013.
He suffered a relapse and was out of work intermittently due to his ongoing physical and psychological difficulties.
He was unable to continue working and ceased employment with the defendant in February 2015.
He remains out of work and has been awarded invalidity pension benefit.