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Employer was liable for knee injury suffered by employee

By: Colm Scott Byrne BL

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High Court, in an ex tempore judgment, awards the plaintiff €40,000 in general damages in addition to the agreed special damages of €13682.95 in a personal injuries action arising out of an injury suffered at work, on the grounds that: (a) the injury was foreseeable as it was well established that kneeling or squatting can cause lower limb disorders; (b) the employer was liable on the basis that the task required an employee to kneel or squat, which was a known cause of the injury suffered by the plaintiff; and (c) the employer could have taken steps to prevent the injury by introducing preventative measures.

Personal injuries action - ex tempore judgment - plaintiff alleged that she hurt her knee whilst working in a garage when she squatted down for 15 minutes to move magazines from a low cupboard - the plaintiff suffered a bucket-handle tear on her lateral meniscus with a flick fragment identified within the intercondylar region -the plaintiff received manual handing and health and safety training when she started working for the defendant - whether the defendant was liable for the injuries suffered - the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 and the General Application Regulations SI 299/2000 - whether the injury was foreseeable - whether the defendant failed to take reasonable care - employer liable - general damages of €40,000 along with agreed special damages of €13682.95.

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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