Man who had to give up deep sea fishing after fall awarded €257,000


A COUNCIL worker who had to give up deep sea fishing and playing the bagpipes after he tripped over an electrical cable while walking on a footpath carrying a ladder is to get some €257,000 damages following a High Court ruling yesterday.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine reduced the total €342,799 award by one-quarter to just over €257,000 after finding there was contributory negligence to that extent on the part of Liam Murray.

Mr Murray (55), Cleggan Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin, had sued the ESB as a result of the accident at Beach Road, Sandymount, Dublin, on August 17th, 2009.

He claimed he was walking along the road when he fell on electrical cabling emerging from under the path at the base of a street lamp. He claimed the ESB was negligent in allowing electrical cable to be on the pathway.

As a result of injuries to his right shoulder and neck, for which he later required surgery, he claimed he had to give up deep sea fishing and playing the bagpipes.

The ESB admitted liability but also pleaded contributory negligence on the part of Mr Murray.

In her judgment, Ms Justice Irvine said Mr Murray, who worked with the Dublin City Council lighting department, tripped on electrical cable during the course of his employment.

She said Mr Murray had parked his van and was carrying an extension ladder when, for some unexplained reason, he did not see a large spool of cable in front of him.

The judge said everybody must take reasonable care for their own safety as footpaths could be hazardous and pedestrians were not entitled to blindly proceed on the assumption they would be safe.

Mr Murray would have been required to report dangers to his employers and would have been more aware than most, she said.

He should have seen the spool of electrical cable and, on that basis, she would reduce the award by 25 per cent. She said he fell on his shoulder but, after treatment that day, he was able to continue work and to take photographs of the scene.

She found Mr Murray had made little effort to return to gainful employment after his accident. While she accepted he could not do heavy lifting, he could do some jobs such as a car park attendant, she said.