Firefighter sues alleging shoulder injury was caused pulling ambulance trolley
Posted on 26th January 2023 at 21:59
A firefighter working with the Dublin ambulance service has sued in the High Court over a shoulder injury he claims he suffered when pulling a trolley out of a nursing home during an emergency call-out.
Mark Finnerty (46) claims he pulled his shoulder when the trolley, containing a 96-year-old man who had gone into cardiac arrest, jolted after it hit an obstruction in a doorway.
He is claiming negligence against his employer, Dublin City Council, and against Clontarf Private Nursing Home and Silver Stream Healthcare Management Ltd over the incident at the Sunnyside Nursing Home in Clontarf, Dublin, on March 7th, 2017.
His counsel, David McGrath SC, said the incident happened while he was taking the patient out of the nursing home on an ambulance trolley.
The court heard the nursing home comprises three joined over-basement Victorian houses and access to it is via a ramp with a number of turns on it.
While the call-out to the nursing home was initially not a cardiac call, after the patient was brought down in a lift on a wheelchair from the third floor, he was no longer breathing and was slumped in the chair. He had to be brought to the ambulance quickly to be given oxygen. He died later in hospital.
Mr Finnerty, of Balgriffin Park, Hole in the Wall Road, Dublin 13, claims he suffered a tear in his right shoulder muscle. He was off work for two months with intermittent absences afterward as a result of his injury, he claims.
He says the city council failed, among other things, to provide a safe place of work or to train him properly in the use of the trolley.
His allegations against the nursing home include that the nursing home failed to provide a safe means of bringing the patient out to the ambulance or to carry out a reasonable risk assessment of the property.
Both defendants deny the claims. The city council also says any liability lies with the nursing home because of the nature of the access.
The nursing home operators say the council failed to provide proper training as Mr Finnerty did not observe the correct procedures for using the trolley in the circumstances he found himself in.
The case continues before Ms Justice Carmel Stewart.
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