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Liability for Social Care Worker’s Injuries Split Equally

Posted: February 16th, 2016

The liability for injuries sustained by a social worker while working for the HSE has been split equally between the man and his employer.

In June 2009, a social care worker by the name of Joseph Kavanagh (54) was working with youth with behavioural difficulties in a Special Care Residential Unit. Joseph-originally from Enfield, County Meath-was asked to supervisor a teenager on a routine family visit. Towards the end of the occasion, the teenager-who must remain anonymous for legal reasons-grew agitated and ran away from Joseph.

Joseph ran after his charge, but twisted his knee and fell to the pavement, hearing a loud cracking sound as he hit the ground. He was brought to hospital, and an x-ray later revealed that he had broken a bone in the area. Despite medical intervention, Joseph still experiences discomfort that distracts him from daily life. He was also left with a scar from his injury.

Joseph sought legal advice, and made a social care worker injury claim against the Health Service Executive (HSE). In the action, Joseph claimed that his employer failed to carry out a thorough risk assessment of the situation, despite the youth showing severe agitation prior to the visit. Joseph argued that had the assessment been carried out, a fellow social care worker or member of staff should have been present so that Joseph would not have had to give pursuit.

His employers denied any liability for Joseph’s injuries. The social care worker injury claim was brought to the Circuit Civil Court, where it was heard by Judge Francis Comerford. Midway through proceedings, the judge was told that a settlement had been agreed between the parties and that the dispute had been resolved.

The details of the settlement of compensation were not released, but it is known that the liability for Joseph’s injuries were split equally between the HSE and Joseph. The case was struck out of court, and Joseph was awarded his legal fees.

Categories: Work Accident

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