Security van driver wins compensation from former employers

A security van driver who brought High Court proceedings against his former employers as a result of the post traumatic stress disorder and depression he suffered following a tiger kidnapping has been awarded €25,000 in damages.

A security van driver who brought High Court proceedings against his former employers as a result of the post traumatic stress disorder and depression he suffered following a tiger kidnapping has been awarded €25,000 in damages.

Today the President of the High Court Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns held that James Eakins was entitled to damages as a result of his crew being asked to hand more than €1m to a work colleague whose wife had been taken hostage in Carlow in January 2007, while making a deliver to an ATM at a service station.

The Judge said the care Securicor had provided to Mr Eakins was inadequate because of the regularity of the deliveries it made to Carlow. Such deliveries, he said, were the first stop on Monday mornings after using the same route from Dublin. There should have been variations made in order to help deter criminals.

The Judge said that this was in contrast to the fact that at the same time the company, in light of a Tiger style kidnapping of one its employees in 2005, had been advising its employees to change the routes they took while travelling to work.

However in his judgment the Judge said that the criticisms made of Securicor's training and steps it took to improve the security of its workers were "very much wide of the mark."

Mr Eakins (aged 62) with an address at Greenhills, Dublin 12 has sued Securicor Security Services Limited for damages as a result of his crew being asked to hand more than €1m to a work colleague whose wife was the victim of a Tiger kidnapping in Carlow in January 2007.

Mr Eakins claimed that he suffered psychiatric injuries following the robbery of a security van at a service station in Carlow on January 17, 2007.

He further claimed that his then employers failed to provide him a safe working environment, a safe system of work, a safe place to work, and had no regard for his health and safety while he was carrying out his duty.

He claimed that he was exposed to unnecessary risk of personal injury and psychological injury, and had not received adequate training. The defendants had denied the claims.

The robbery involving Mr Eakins took place around the morning while the Securicor van Mr Eakins was driving was making a delivery to an ATM at a petrol station.

He was approached by a work colleague, Bernard Hogan who asked them to cooperate with the gang to ensure his wife’s safety. Mr Hogan’s wife Ailish had been kidnapped from the couple’s home the previous night.

The money was taken from the van and placed in a car, which was driven from the scene. More than €1m was obtained by the gang. At the time the van contained €2.5m.

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