Judge directs hospital to allow forensic engineer to inspect area where porter was allegedly injured

John Sheridan claims he was injured while pushing a patient in a wheelchair in the ward

St. Vincent's hospital, Elm Park, Dublin yesterday (Monday 9th April)

A judge has directed St Vincent’s University Hospital to allow a forensic engineer entry to its Covid-19 ward to inspect the location of an accident involving one of its hospital porters.

Barrister Conor Kearney told Judge Sarah Berkeley in the Circuit Civil Court on Wednesday that a claim for damages for personal injury by John Sheridan has had to be adjourned on several occasions.

Mr Kearney, who appeared with Tiernan Solicitors for Mr Sheridan, of Ardmore Close, Artane, Dublin, said an application to have the scene of the accident inspected had been refused by the hospital on numerous occasions on grounds that it would breach its Covid restrictions.

Counsel told the court that Mr Sheridan was a hospital porter who claims that before the outbreak of Covid he was injured while pushing a patient in a wheelchair across a ramp in the ward in question.

The judge heard that Mr Sheridan was suing St Vincent’s Healthcare Group, which trades as St Vincent’s University Hospital, for damages based on alleged negligence on the part of the defendant.

The judge said the case was being delayed for too long, and she made an order directing that an inspection take place by an engineer who would follow all appropriate health and safety guidelines laid down by the hospital.

The judge was told by counsel for the hospital that his client had no difficulty with facilitating an inspection of the scene of the incident but was seeking an extended adjournment because it had happened in the now Covid-19 ward.

The judge directed that the inspection take place within the next eight weeks and put the case down for trial in mid-October.