Farmer who suffered horrific injuries to his hand settles court action

Gearóid Hurley’s hand was sucked into combine harvester as he tried to free grain clogging up machine

Gearóid Hurley at the Four Courts earlier this week for his High Court action. Photograph: Collins Courts

Gearóid Hurley at the Four Courts earlier this week for his High Court action. Photograph: Collins Courts

 

A farmer who suffered horrific injuries when his hand was sucked into a combine harvester has settled his High Court action on undisclosed terms.

Gearóid Hurley had told the court he was screaming in pain after his hand got trapped and his employer tried to manually reverse the mechanism with a wrench but was unsuccessful. It took almost an hour before his hand was freed after fire officers cut through the auger of the machine.

On Wednesday, the fourth day of the hearing, Dr John O’Mahony SC, for Mr Hurley, said the issues in the action had been resolved and the case could be struck out.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross welcomed the resolution. He said Mr Hurley, through no fault of his own, suffered very serious injuries and had made remarkable efforts to get back in the workplace. He was sure Mr Hurley will be a great success in the future and can put this “horrific accident behind him”.

Previously, Dr O’Mahony said the injury suffered to the farmer’s right hand was “absolutely horrific” and he was in “gigantic and overwhelming pain”. Mr Hurley had been due to inherit the family dairy farm outside Bandon but his right hand is compromised and he cannot work as a dairy farmer, counsel said.

The court was told generations of the Hurley family have farmed on land outside Bandon since 1740. Mr Hurley has since taken over an outside tillage farm and his sister inherited the family dairy farm.

Mr Hurley (35), Mallowgaton, Bandon, had sued Mark Troy, an agricultural contractor of Knockroe, Bandon, and the agricultural company Ardkeena Agri Services Ltd, also of Knockroe, Bandon, as a result of the accident on September 16th, 2016, on land at Brinny, Inishannon, Co Cork.

Mr Hurley was working for Mr Troy at the time and was attempting to manually unclog grain from a combine harvester when it was claimed the auger of the machine was allegedly activated by Mr Troy. Mr Hurley’s hand was pulled upwards and crushed. Mr Hurley claimed he was requested to unclog the combine harvester in dangerous and hazardous circumstances and the auger of the harvester was activated in circumstances in which injury was likely to be caused. He further claimed failure to train or supervise him adequately. The claims were denied.