Family of man who died after accident at loading bay settles High Court action
Posted on 18th January 2022 at 20:40
Deceased was injured on November 10th, 2014 at the Aer Lingus Cargo terminal in Dublin Airport
The settlement, which was announced in the High Court, was against Aer Lingus which had previously been fined €250,000 for a health and safety breach in relation to the death of John Murray (55).
On Tuesday, the High Court heard that the father-of-two from Skerries, Co Dublin, fell from a loading bay, suffering serious head injuries. The family’s counsel, Andrew Walker SC, said Mr Murray died five days later in hospital.
Mr Justice Paul Coffey, who sympathised with the family on their loss, was told the case had settled after mediation and a “very sizeable settlement” had been achieved. A separate action brought by Mr Murray’s daughter Alanna, aged 12 when her father died, was also settled.
Mr Murray’s widow, Angela Murray, had sued her husband’s employers DB Schenker Ireland Ltd, with registered offices at Swords Road, Dublin; Schenker (Ireland ) Ltd, with registered offices at Shannon, Co Clare; and Aer Lingus Ltd over the death of her husband on November 10th, 2014 at the Aer Lingus Cargo terminal, Dublin Airport.
It was claimed there was a failure to provide adequate or sufficient lighting at the loading bay and that access onto the loading bay was by way of a crate which, it was claimed, they knew or ought to have known was dangerous and unsafe.
Mr Justice Coffey was told liability was conceded by the defendants last September, with the settlement against Aer Lingus only.
In a statement on behalf of the family after the High Court settlement, the family’s solicitor, Dermot McNamara, said while the Murrays were relieved the case had eventually settled, they were “extremely disappointed” they had to fight for more than five years and liability was only conceded in September last year.
“Financial compensation is no remedy for the loss of a loved one and what value it has is diminished when a grieving family is required to risk their limited financial resources bringing High Court proceedings against the combined resources of a multinational company and semi-State company,” he said.
In 2017, Aer Lingus was fined €250,000 for a health-and-safety breach in connection with the death of Mr Murray. The company admitted exposing non-employees to risks to their health and safety in relation to a practice which had developed of cargo drivers habitually gaining access to a loading bay by climbing onto and off a 3ft-high loading dock.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard Mr Murray was discovered lying on his back unconscious about 25 minutes after he fell from a cargo warehouse loading bay.
The company pleaded guilty through a representative for failing to manage and conduct its undertaking in such a way as to ensure individuals who were not its employees were not exposed to risks to their safety, health or welfare at or near Gate 7 at Aer Lingus Cargo Warehouse on November 5th, 2014.
The full charge specified there was a failure to ensure adequate measures were in place to protect people from the risk of a fall from height and that there was a failure to implement its written procedures dealing with driver access to loading bays.
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