Election worker settles action for damages against Labour Party over postering fall

High Court told the safest way for election staff to put up posters is with cherrypickers

A father of three has settled a High Court action for damages against the Labour Party over injuries he suffered in a fall while putting up posters for one of the party's candidates in the 2011 general election.

Tom Stanton, from Friary Mews, Friar's Walk, in Cork, had begun legal proceedings over an injury he suffered while doing postering work for Labour candidate Cllr Paula Desmond at Deanrock, in Togher, on February 17th, 2011.

Mr Stanton told Mr Justice John Hedigan, at the High Court sitting in Cork on Wednesday, that he had suffered four broken ribs and a punctured lung and that he spent a week in hospital after falling from a wall while putting up election posters.

‘Paid volunteer’

Mr Stanton had told the court that he was not a member of the


Labour Party

but was “a paid volunteer” who was to be paid €3 expenses for each poster he put up and took down, and this would cover his postering work as well as fuel costs for his van. He had told the court that

Ms Desmond

had told him that he would be covered by the Labour Party’s insurance for putting up the posters and he believed that the party had a duty of care to him as he was part of Ms Desmond’s election team.

Second day

The case was due to resume yesterday for a second day of evidence when counsels for Mr Stanton, Dr John O’Mahony SC and James O’Mahony SC, and counsel for the Labour Party,

Michael Gleeson

, informed Mr Justice Hedigan that the matter had been settled. No details of the settlement were disclosed in court.

Mr Justice Hedigan was informed that the matter could be struck out and he duly struck out Mr Stanton’s action against the Labour Party, which had denied liability.

During evidence, Mr Stanton's engineer, Pádraig Murphy, had told how he examined the scene of the accident and concluded that the only safe way to erect election posters to the necessary height on utility poles was to use a cherry-picker akin to those used by the ESB.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times