Thompson v Pat Cleary & Sons Hauliers

Author:Ms Ailbhe Gilvarry, Lorcan Buckley and Rachel Kavanagh
Profession:Mason Hayes & Curran

[2012] IEHC 133 - Peart J.

Plaintiff's claim for damages for personal injury dismissed on basis that his employer had taken all reasonable measures in respect of the Plaintiff's safety.


The Plaintiff was an experienced heavy goods driver who sustained injuries when he fell from the top of a ladder which was affixed to the back of a large articulated cement container. At the time the accident occurred, the Plaintiff was collecting cement from the premises of Irish Cement in Ringsend. In accordance with standard procedure, prior to leaving the premises, the Plaintiff was required to remove any excess cement from the top of the container. In an effort to clean cement from the top of the container, the Plaintiff climbed the ladder at the rear of the container whilst holding a high-power hose. As he was descending the ladder and still holding the power hose, he fell to the ground.


Peart J accepted the evidence put forward on behalf of the Defendant to the effect that the Plaintiff had been made aware that, under no circumstances was the high-power hose to be used whilst standing on the top of a container. Peart J was of the view that the Plaintiff had brought the incident on himself by disobeying a very clear instruction given to him by his employer and by Irish Cement. Peart J accepted that the other options available to lorry drivers for cleaning their vehicles were not available to the Plaintiff on this particular day but he stated that this was not the direct cause of the Plaintiff's accident. The direct cause...

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