A 35-year-old Cork farmer who sued after suffering horrific injuries when his hand was sucked in to a combine harvester as he tried to free grain clogging up the machine has settled his High Court action.
Gearoid Hurley had told the court how after his hand became trapped he was screaming in pain and his employer tried to manually reverse the mechanism with a wrench but was unsuccessful. It was was nearly an hour before his hand was freed after firemen cut through the auger of the machine.
On the fourth day of the hearing today his counsel Dr John O'Mahony SC told the High Court the issues in the action had been resolved and the case could be struck out.
Mr Justice Kevin Cross said he was very glad the issues had been resolved and he congratulated the legal teams involved. Mr Hurley he said through no fault of his own had suffered very serious injuries and he had made remarkable efforts to get back in the workplace.
The judge said he was sure Mr Hurley will be a great success in the future and he can put this "horrific accident behind him."
Previously Mr Hurley's counsel,Dr John O'Mahony SC said the injury suffered to the farmer's right hand “absolutely horrific” and he was in “gigantic and overwhelming pain.”
Counsel said Mr Hurley had been due to inherit the family dairy farm outside Bandon but despite the heroic efforts of hospital doctors his right hand is compromised and he cannot work as a dairy farmer.
“Farming was his life and soul and his exclusive commitment," Counsel said.
Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told that generations of the Hurley family have farmed on the land outside Bandon since 1740.
The farmer, who was 32 years of age at the time of the accident three years ago, has since taken over an outside tillage farm and his sister inherited the family dairy farm.
Gearoid Hurley, Mallowgaton, Bandon, Co Cork had sued Mark Troy, an agricultural contractor of Knockroe, Bandon,Co Cork and the agricultural company Ardkeena Agri Services Ltd also of Knockroe, Bandon,Co Cork as a result of the accident on September 16,2016 on land in Brinny, Inishannon, Co Cork.
Mr Hurley was working for Mr Troy at the time and was attempting to manually unclog grain from a combine harvester, when it was claimed the auger of the machine was allegedly activated by Mr Troy.
Mr Hurley claimed he was allegedly requested to unclog the combine harvester in dangerous and hazardous circumstances and the auger of the harvester was allegedly activated in circumstances in which injury was likely to be caused.
He further claimed there was an alleged failure to train or supervise him adequately.
Mr Hurley's hand was pulled upwards and was crushed.
The claims were denied and the terms of the settlement are confidential.