Man settles court action for €60,000 over faulty Woodies DIY bench

High Court hears man had seizures from head injury after garden seat collapsed

A man who suffered injuries when a garden bench on which he was sitting suddenly collapsed has settled his High Court action for €60,000.

Raymond Kingston suffered a dislocated shoulder and had three seizures after he fell and hit his head when the bench collapsed as he sat on it. He now has to use a different hand when bowling and cannot swim as he did before, the court was told.

Mr Kingston (49), Vevay Road, Bray, Co Wicklow, sued Grafton Group PLC, trading as Woodies DIY, which sold the bench at its store at Southern Cross Road, Bray, and Sunbeam House Services Ltd, Killarney Road, Bray, as a result of the accident on July 6th, 2013.

Mr Kingston sat on the bench at a Sunbeam centre at Vevay Road, Bray. The bench was bought and assembled just weeks before the accident, the court heard.

He claimed Grafton Group PLC had permitted a faulty bench to be sold and failed to take any or any reasonable care to ensure the bench was assembled properly.

His claim against Sunbeam House Services Ltd alleged failure to take any, or any adequate measures, whether by way of examination or inspection, to ensure the bench was reasonably safe, not faulty and free from any dangers likely to cause a person to fall from the bench.

Niamh Foley BL, for Mr Kingston, said the garden bench was purchased on May 29th, 2013, and Mr Kingston was sitting on the bench on July 6th that year when it suddenly collapsed.

Liability was not an issue in the case which was before the court for assessment of damages only, counsel outlined.

As a result of his shoulder injury, which required an operation, Mr Kingston had limited use of his right shoulder and now had to play bowling with his left hand instead of his right and was not able to swim, she said.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross said it was a good settlement in the circumstances and he wished Mr Kingston all the best for the future.