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Social Worker Injured at Work Receives Compensation

Posted: February 20th, 2016

A man who broke his knee whilst running after a child that was in his care has received a settlement for compensation after a court hearing resolved the case.

The accident occurred in June 2009, when Joseph Kavanagh, aged fifty-four from Enfield in Co. Meath was helping young people with behavioural problems at a Special Care Residential Unit. Asked to accompany one of the youths during a family visit, the teenager – who has remained anonymous throughout the case – became emotionally upset and ran away from Mr Kavanagh.

Mr Kavanagh followed the teenager, but twisted his knee badly as he did so. This caused him to fall, cracking his knee on the road. X-rays performed on Mr Kavanagh in hospital confirmed that the fall had caused him to break his knee, and ever since Mr Kavanagh has complained of continued pain that infringes upon his daily life. He also still has a four centimetre scar on the knee from the fall.

Joseph sough legal counsel and proceeded to make a claim for compensation against the Health Service Executive, HSE, who employed him to work in the facility. Mr Kavanagh claimed that there was no risk assessment carried out before the visit, given that there had been a previous agitation. The care worker claimed that, had such an assessment been carried out, it would have been evident that another carer at the centre should have accompanied his charge on the visit.
His employers denied any liability for the accident, and the claim proceeded to the Circuit Civil Court. Judge Francis Comerford oversaw proceedings, though the HSE did not have a chance to present their defence as Judge Comerford had been informed of a settlement that had been agreed upon and as such, the claim was resolved.

Exact details were not released, though it is believed that the liability was split 50/50 between Mr Kavanagh and his employer. Judge Comerford closed the case after awarding Mr Kavanagh his legal costs.

Categories: Social Worker injury Solicitor

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