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Employer liable for injuries sustained by employee in an assault and battery

By: James Cross BL

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High Court, in personal injuries proceedings arising from an assault and battery in the course of the plaintiff's employment, finds the defendant employer to be liable in negligence and for breach of statutory duty, and grants an award of damages in the total sum of €68,636.14, being €50,000 for general damages and €18,636.14 for special damages

Personal injuries - subjected to verbal abuse and was then assaulted in the course of her employment - negligence and for breach of statutory duty pursuant to the provisions of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 and the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act Regulations 2007 – defence - author of her own misfortune and was guilty of contributory negligence - failed to comply with the training and safety instructions which had been given to her - accept the Plaintiff’s evidence that she had not been trained nor had she received instruction on how to deal with an aggressive customer - CCTV Footage - dependent on oral evidence due to quality of footage – risk assessments and safety statements – evidence of incident - in store security arrangements – accept evidence that plaintiff was subjected to assault and battery – employer found to be liable - the employer is not an insurer for the safety of the employee, rather the duty is to take reasonable care for his or her safety at work - relevant statutory provisions - established on the balance of probabilities the case made against the 1st Defendant - 1st Defendant is liable in negligence and for breach of statutory duty for what befell the Plaintiff and the consequences thereof – no contributory negligence – assessment of damages – medical history – court proceedings – injuries – psychological injuries – vocational implications – general damages: €40,000 and for pain and suffering into the future €10,000 – pecuniary loss - loss of earnings claimed is €53,957.38 - RBA certificate for €35,821.22 - net difference of €18,136.14 - travel, medical and miscellaneous expenses agreed in the amount of €500 - total €18,636.14 – total award of €68,636.14.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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