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Court Awards Compensation for Hotel Workplace Injury

Posted: April 12th, 2016

A High Court judge has awarded a hotel waitress a six-figure settlement of compensation after deeming that the jugs she was required to use were not fit for their purpose.

The accident occurred in the Lough Rynn Hotel in Mohill, Co. Leitrim where Sophie Caillaud was working as a waitress. The forty-two year-old was filling a glass jug when it shattered in her hand, causing a deep gash to her thumb.

Despite surgery being performed on Sophie’s thumb shortly after the accident to try and help heal any soft-tissue damage, Sophie has still not regained full sensation and strength in her injured digit. Even now, she still has difficulty engaging in some basic, day-to-day tasks.

As she recovered, Sophie sought legal counsel before proceeding to make a claim for compensation against her former employers, the Lough Rynn Hotel, and the manufacturers and suppliers of the glass jug, Utopia Tableware Ltd and Bunzl Outsourcing Ltd..

The claim for workplace compensation was, however, contested by the defendants, who argued that the amount of compensation being sought was too high. They also argued that Sophie was acted negligently, and caused her own injuries.

The case continued, but neither negotiations or the Injuries Board could bring the parties into agreement. As such, the case was heard in the High Court of Dublin, where it was overseen by Mr Justice Kevin Cross. Judge Cross was told that other staff members before Sophie had also reported injuries involving the same glass jugs shattering.

An expert witness explained to the court of how the jugs were weakened at their joint between the thin body and thick handle because of repeated hot-and-cold cycles in the dishwasher. This confirmed that the glass jugs were not fit for purpose and safe for use.

Sophie also gave evidence at the hearing, after which Judge Cross dismissed the allegations made by the defence that she was either exaggerating the extent of her injury or had caused it herself by acting negligently. Before awarding her a compensation settlement of €500,000, Judge Cross commented that he had found Sophie “entirely genuine”.

Categories: Work Injury News

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