Painter who suffered brain injury after fall from ladder settles case for €3m

Vincent Barry (60) will only get €825,000 of payment as insurance firm gone into liquidation

Man claimed he was painting a Velux window in a property in Newcastle, Co Wicklow, four years ago when a frame ladder snapped in two and he fell onto the concrete below, fracturing his skull. Photograph: Chris Maddaloni/Collins

Man claimed he was painting a Velux window in a property in Newcastle, Co Wicklow, four years ago when a frame ladder snapped in two and he fell onto the concrete below, fracturing his skull. Photograph: Chris Maddaloni/Collins

 

A painter who suffered a traumatic brain injury after falling 16 feet (5m) to the ground from a ladder has settled his High Court action for €3 million.

Vincent Barry (60) will only get €825,000 of that award because the insurance company involved, based in mainland Europe, has gone into liquidation, the court was told on Thursday.

Mr Barry had claimed he was painting a Velux window in a property in Newcastle, Co Wicklow, four years ago when a frame ladder snapped in two and he fell onto the concrete below, fracturing his skull.

He spent 14 weeks in hospital and a further four months in the National Rehabilitation Hospital.

Susan Jones BL, instructed by Patrick Jones solicitor, for Mr Barry said it was an unfortunate matter as the insurance company involved was based outside this country and had gone into liquidation.

As a result, Mr Barry will only have access to a maximum €825,000 under the State’s Insurance Compensation Fund, designed to facilitate payments to policyholders when an insurance company goes into liquidation.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Cross said it was a serious and dreadful accident that befell Mr Barry which had serious consequences for him.

Mr Barry, Silvermines, Bray, Co Wicklow, had sued Ian Longmore trading as Ian Longmore Building Services, Co Wicklow, as a result of the accident which occurred while he was painting a house in Newcastle on September 12th, 2016.

It was claimed Mr Barry was working under the instruction of Mr Longmore at the time of the accident.

Mr Barry claimed he had been provided with a ladder which was dangerously defective and unsafe to use and that the ladder had snapped in two.

He also alleged failure to take any or any reasonable care to ensure he would be reasonably safe in carrying out his work.

The claims were denied and the defence pleaded the ladder did not appear to have any obvious or inherent defects.

It was further claimed Mr Barry had failed to wear a hard hat when working at a height.

On Thursday, Ms Jones said, while the settlement was €3 million, there was very little prospect of recovering any more of the compensation other than the amount allowed under the ICF.

Approving the €3 million settlement, plus costs, Mr Justice Cross noted the indemnifying insurance company had gone into liquidation and Mr Barry will have to be paid from the Insurance Compensation Fund which will give a maximum pay out of €825,000.

Mr Justice Cross wished Mr Barry and his family all the best for the future.