Builder settles for €300k after fall damaged his sight, taste, and smell

Con Oxley, of Cullahill, Co Laois, leaves the Four Courts yesterday after his High Court action for damages. Picture: Courts Collins

A man who suffered a significant head injury after he fell off a plank when he was carrying out work on a barn has settled his High Court action for €300,000.

Con Oxley, from Cullahill, Co Laois, fell 2.5m and the High Court heard he has been left with poor vision in his left eye, and suffered a loss of taste and smell.

The High Court heard the settlement was without an admission of liability and was based on 50/50 apportioning of liability.

Mr Oxley, who was self-employed, was carrying out work on a stable barn on August 11, 2008, installing light fittings and rolling out cable for the job. He put a plank between the walls of each loose box to make a platform.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told that when Mr Oxley walked on the plank it collapsed and he fell to the ground and banged his head.

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Mr Oxley, Old Town, Cullahill, Co Laois has sued farmer Mark Quigley of Dairyhill, Ballacolla, Co Laois.

It was claimed that the planks provided were not suitable and there was a crack in one of them.

Mr Oxley further claimed that there was an alleged failure to provide intermediate support under the planks so as to render them safe to walk on and it was also alleged that one plank supplied was cracked and thereby dangerous.

The claims were denied by Mr Quigley.

Approving the settlement Mr Justice Kevin Cross said if the case had gone ahead, contributory negligence could have been found on Mr Oxley’s part for failing to check the plank himself.

The judge said he had no hesitation in approving the settlement which he said represented half of the full value of the case.

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