A kitchen porter in a Killarney restaurant brought a case to the High Court yesterday for a back injury suffered lifting a large pot of water from a sink.
The boiler at La Rambla restaurant in Killarney had broken down on the day and the porter said he was told to fill a pot of water in the sink and then carry it over to a hob on the cooker.
Robert Tokar commenced his civil action yesterday before Mr Justice Michael Hanna at the High Court sitting in Cork, against Theo’s Restaurant Ltd, trading as La Rambla in Killarney.
The plaintiff described working on for six months afterward but then on a particular day he went down on his knees in pain and said he could not stand it anymore.
Dr John O’Mahony, senior counsel, said Mr Tokar was left with lower back pain radiating to both legs.
The plaintiff’s other senior counsel, David Sutton, examined the plaintiff for the purpose of his direct evidence given through a Czech interpreter.
Mr Tokar said his job was to wash dishes and help the chefs, a job he did for two years prior to the accident on February 27, 2013.
“I had to fill the pot with cold water and carry the pot onto the stove,” he said. He testified that he told his boss that he did not want to perform this task but she allegedly told him that if didn’t do it there were 10 people around whom she could get to do his job.
He said he filled the large pot to within four inches of the brim and lifted it out of the sink. “I felt a crack (in back) and dropped the pot into the sink. I felt pain in my lower back and left leg. I felt obliged to work on (from 12 noon when the accident happened until 12 midnight when the shift ended) because I was afraid to stop work as she told me before I might lose my job,” Mr Tokar said.
The case continues today.
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