A man who experiences short-term memory loss after a fall from a roof accident has been awarded €1.5 million by a High Court judge.
In July 2012, Paul O’Brien was working on repairing the roof of a house in Bray when it started to rain. Paul attempted to descend from the roof on a ladder that was propped up on the side of the building, but as he stepped onto it, the ladder slipped on the house’s wooden deck. Paul fell to the ground, hitting his head off the deck as he fell.
Paul was transported to hospital where he was treated for head trauma. Paul now suffers from significant short-term memory loss. On behalf of her husband, Sandra O’Brien of Glenealy, County Wicklow, made a claim for brain injury compensation after a fall from a roof against his employer-Sean Lyons of Clondalkin, Dublin.
Sandra alleged that Lyons had been negligent in providing a safe working environment for Paul, and suitable scaffolding or fall protection had not been provided to him. Had these measures been taken, it is likely that Paul would never have been injured.
It was also alleged that the ladder which Paul used while working was unfit for purpose, and he was unable to descend from the roof safely on it. It had not been fastened to the building, and the combination of an unstable ladder and wet wooden decking proved hazardous to Paul’s safety.
A settlement for brain injury compensation after a fall from a roof was negotiated by both parties out-of-court. Before it could be awarded, however, it first needed to be approved on Paul’s behalf by a judge, due to the nature of Paul’s injuries.
The circumstances of the case were heard by Ms Justice Mary Irvine at the High Court in Dublin. The judge heard that Sandra took a two-year sabbatical from her job in order to care for her husband after the ordeal.
Judge Irvine was informed that €1.5 million in compensation had been agreed upon by the parties, and that Paul’s family were willing to accept this offer. The judge approved this settlement, commenting that had the case gone to court, Paul’s own negligence may have been factored into account and reduced the settlement. The judge closed the hearing, and expressed sympathies to Paul’s family.