ESB worker sues after being ‘propelled through the air’ by a stag
Posted on 11th January 2022 at 20:04
Engineer was wounded in the shoulder and lost consciousness after animal attack, court told
An ESB worker attacked by a stag during the course of his work with the electricity company has sued in the High Court.
John Corcoran (63), an engineering officer with the ESB, was going to check a mast when a stag attacked him on a forestry path at Kilduff Mountain, outside Templemore, Co Tipperary.
The attack took place in September 2016, during what is traditionally a breeding season.
“It was a really lovely summer’s day when a herd of deer crossed the path in front of me. I said wouldn’t it be a lovely picture and then I got a sense of fear... I looked behind me and there was a stag 15 paces back,” he told Mr Justice Paul Coffey.
Mr Corcoran said he started to run but the stag hit him with force, its antlers creating eight puncture wounds on his rucksack and wounding him in the shoulder.
“He propelled me through the air at speed over a bank and into the scrub,” he said.
Mr Corcoran said he used a rod to hit the stag a few times in the nostrils, but he said it reared up on his hind legs and came crashing down on him. He said he lost consciousness for about 10 to 12 minutes but later managed to reach his phone and seek help.
At the opening of his case against the ESB, Mr Corcoran’s counsel Edward Walsh SC , told the court Mr Corcoran is left with lifelong deficits.
Counsel said the accident led to the destruction of Mr Corcoran’s career and his claim for loss of earnings amounted to a total of €420,000.
Counsel said Mr Corcoran’s wife will say there has been a “sea change” in her husband since the attack, going from an active man to someone who struggles on a daily basis.
Mr Corcoran had returned to work in February 2017 but retired on medical advice in November 2017 after 38 years working with the ESB.
John Corcoran, of Fawnlough, Nenagh, Co Tipperary, has sued ESB Networks Designated Activity Company with a registered address at Clanwilliam House, Clanwilliam Place, Dublin, and the Electricity Supply Board with a registered address at East Wall, Dublin, over the incident on September 12th, 2016.
Mr Justice Paul Coffey was told that liability has been admitted in the case which was before the court for the assessment of damages only.
It was claimed that Mr Corcoran had been permitted to work alone in a mountain area during the deer mating season when it ought to reasonably have been known that it was dangerous and unsafe to do so.
It was also claimed there was a failure to have in place any local procedures for lone workers working in isolated areas to ensure they could work safely.
The case before Mr Justice Paul Coffey continues on Wednesday.
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