Marquee utility worker settles €60,000 High Court claim over accident in which he tripped over protruding grounding stud on property

A general agent for a marquee supplier has settled a claim in the High Court for €60,000 over an accident in which he tripped over a protruding earth stud in a building where he worked.

Ukasz Klajna, 39, of Glebelands, Carlow Road, Athy, Co Kildare, is suing his employer, Donohue Marquees, Milltown, Garryhill, Bagenalstown, Co Carlow, and Magna International Autolaunch, an automotive parts supplier based in Bagenalstown.

The accident was alleged to have occurred on March 16, 2019, when Mr. Klajna was working for Donohues to erect a permanent tent structure between two Magna storage buildings in Bagenalstown.

Mr Klajna was carrying a heavy pole with a colleague when he stumbled and fell on a ground stud that had previously been used to hold up a fence at the site. The pole fell on his right hand, breaking his thumb and finger.

It was alleged that Magna acted negligently by allowing the protruding bolt to remain in place or by conducting an assessment or inspection of the site to allow Mr Klanja to carry out his work safely.

Donohues was accused of, among other things, failing to provide a safe workplace or implement an and/or adequate inspection system to ensure that the protruding bolt had been removed.

Liability to Mr Klajna was admitted and the case settled following talks between Paul Gallagher BL for Mr Klajna, Bernard McDonagh SC and Conor Kearney BL for Magna and Andrew Walker SC for Donohues.

However, the question of liability between the defendants remained and was heard by Mr Judge Michael Hanna last week.

On Tuesday, the judge split liability 70 percent for Magna and 30 percent for Donohues.

He determined that the protruding bolt posed a hazard. He said it was “a stroke of luck” that Magna’s staff didn’t also “keep overturned” because the bolt was left in place.

He was convinced that since it was a busy site, the site should have been inspected and protruding screws discovered before work began.

Both defendants owed a duty of care to Mr. Klajna, but he felt liability should be split 70 percent/30 percent between Magna and Donohues. Marquee utility worker settles €60,000 High Court claim over accident in which he tripped over protruding grounding stud on property

Fry Electronics Team

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