Manufacturing Plant Employee Receives Head Injury Compensation

A former manufacturing plant employee has received €257,000 in compensation for a severe head injury that has prevented him from working again.

In May 2007, Hany Boles (49) of Cahir, County Tipperary, was employed as a knife washer in the AIBP meat processing factory. He was instructed to assist a colleague who was loading a meat conveyor bench onto two trolleys in order to move it elsewhere within the processing plant.

As the employees loaded the meat conveyor bench onto the trolleys, the bench slipped and fell on Hany while he was crouching beneath it. It struck him on the head, causing severe damage to his skull. He was immediately transported to hospital, and received medical treatment for his injuries. Due to the nature of his injury, Hany has not been able to work since.

Hany sought legal counsel, and made a claim for a workplace head injury on the basis that he had been asked to perform a task for which he had not been trained or instructed how to perform. As a result of his employer’s negligence, he suffered the injury.

The defendants denied responsibility for his injuries, claiming that the accident had occurred because of Hany’s own lack of care. Hany’s legal team pursued with the case, and the case was brought to the High Court in Dublin to be heard in front of Mr Justice Iarflaith O’Neill.

Testimonies were presented by both sides. The judge found in Hany’s favour, stating that he believed Hany’s account of how the meat conveyor bench accident had occurred. He commented that the accident had a major and terrible impact of Hany’s life, but that his employers had adopted an “antagonistic approach” to their former employee’s situation.

The judge also criticised AIBP for recording a “trivialised and an inaccurate account” of the accident into the company’s accident reporting system and chastised the defence´s counsel for suggesting that Hany had been “malingering” since 2007. Hany was awarded €257,000 compensation in settlement of his claim for a workplace head injury. While closing, Mr Justice Iarflaith O’Neill commented that the defendants had got this case “completely wrong”.