High Court Judge Approves Compensation for Fall in Farmyard Barn

A judge in the Dublin High Court has approved a settlement for fall in farmyard barn compensation of €300,000, with split liability between the parties.

Con Oxley of Cullahill, County Laois, was working as a self-employed electrician in August 2008 when he was tasked with implementing a lighting installation in a barn on a farm in Ballacolla.

While rolling out electric cable required for the job, he stepping onto a wooden plank that was suspended between two boxes. The plank broke from his weight, and he fell 2.5 metres to the floor below him. He hit his head on impact, suffering brain damage as a result. Con lost his senses of smell and taste, and now only has partial vision in his left eye.

Con sought legal counsel, and decided to make a compensation claim against the farm’s owner for the injuries he sustained in the fall. Con alleged that the planks had been provided to him by Mark Quigley-the farm’s owner-stating that the planks provided to him were unsuitable for purpose.

Con further claimed that Quigley further neglected his safety by failing to put supports mechanisms in place beneath the planks on which he was working, or any device that would stop a fall, should one occur.

The defendant denied liability for Con’s injuries. As a result, Con sought authorisation from the Injuries Board to pursue his case for farmyard fall compensation in court, which was granted. Before the hearing was scheduled, an out-of-court agreement was made between the parties to split the liability evenly between them. In return for Quigley not admitting full liability for the accident, Con received a settlement of €300,000.

Mr Justice Kearn of the High Court in Dublin approved the settlement for the compensation claim, stating that it had been a good one in the circumstances of the fall. He also said that the fall was partially Con’s fault, due to his failure to thoroughly inspect the plank before stepping onto it. This contributory negligence would have gone against him had the case gone to a full trial.