Farm Accidents in Ireland

In order to claim compensation for farm accidents in Ireland, it has to be established that you or a loved one suffered an injury due to the negligence of somebody who owed you a duty of care. The duty of care could be an employer if you work on a farm or a farmer if you are a visitor to a farm when your accident happens. Provided that a farm injury was sustained for which you were not totally ay fault, you should speak with one of our professional and courteous solicitors to receive impartial and accurate legal advice about claiming compensation for farm accidents in Ireland.

Massive $10.9bn RoundUp Settlement Agreed in US by Bayer

Posted on: June 25th, 2020

Bayer, the German drugs and pesticides producer has come to an agreement, following over a year of talks, to pay as much as $10.9bn to settle thousands of US-based legal actions taken in connection with users of weed killer Roundup developing cancer.

Bayer, the group that inherited the claims when it took over Monsanto in 2018, revealed in May that talks were coming close to an end. Three cases that have already gone to trial are not included in the settlement.

Of the settlement, $5bn must be paid prior to the end of 2020, with the same amount being paid in 2021. The settlement will be funded using the the company’s existing free cash flow and the proceeds of the recent sale of its Animal Health portfolio.

This settlement represents around three quarters of the claims taken in relation to RoundUp. There were almost 125,000 filed and unfiled claims.

Legal claims submitted stated that Roundup is to responsible for the development of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other cancers in some users. However, Bayer refuted these claims and are supported in these claims by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

In relation to the settlement Bayer chief executive Werner Baumann released a statement which said: “The Roundup settlement is the right action at the right time for Bayer to bring a long period of uncertainty to an end.”

He went on to say: “It is financially reasonable when viewed against the significant financial risks of continued, multiyear litigation and the related impacts to our reputation and to our business.

“The decision to resolve the Roundup litigation enables us to focus fully on the critical supply of healthcare and food. It will also return the conversation about the safety and utility of glyphosate-based herbicides to the scientific and regulatory arena and to the full body of science.”

The settlement figure takes into account $1.25 billion for another class agreement in relation to possible future litigation and any other unresolved claims.

Bayer has always denied claims that Roundup or its active ingredient glyphosate can result in cancer based on the many years of independent studies being completed that indicate the product is safe for human use. In April the group were given Bayer shareholder approval in relation to its handling of the claims.

Settlement mediator Ken Feinberg also released a statement that revealed some 25,000 claims remain unsettled. He commented: “Bayer wisely decided to settle the litigation rather than roll the dice in American court.”


Claim for Pony Trek Accident Compensation Resolved during Hearing

Posted on: April 25th, 2016

A claim for pony trek accident compensation, made by a woman unable to work for eight weeks because of her injuries, has been resolved during a hearing.

Thirty-five year old Maria Gray – a dentist from Belfast – was among a party of friends on a pony trek at Feeney’s Riding School in Galway on 15th July 2013 as part of a hen weekend. The trek started with a trot through nearby countryside and slowed as the party approached a steep downhill incline.

As the party descended the incline, the legs of Maria´s pony buckled and Maria fell from the saddle onto the hard tarmac surface. Maria sustained a cut chin – from which she still has a scar – and a wrist injury that prevented her from working as a dentist.

Maria made a claim for pony trek accident compensation against Gerard and Siobhan Feeney – the owners of the riding school. In her claim, Maria alleged that the pony she had been given to ride was unsuitably small for her 5 foot 8½ inches frame. She also alleged that she had not been instructed on how to ride the pony.

The Feeney´s contested the claim for pony trek accident compensation. They denied the pony was too small for Maria and that it was on its last legs and hungry due to having been used on another pony trek earlier in the day. They claimed that Maria had been offered a different pony to ride, but had declined, and been given inadequate instruction on how to ride a pony.

Without the Feeney´s consent to conduct an assessment, the Injuries Board issued Maria with an authorisation to pursue her claim for pony trek accident compensation through the courts process. Her case opened last week at the High Court before Mr Justice Raymond Fullam.

At the hearing, Maria explained to the judge it was her belief that the pony had already been out on a trek earlier on that very hot day. Consequently it was hungry and kept stopping to eat grass. She also said that the pony was only suitable for a child under fourteen years of age because of its age.

The case was due to continue last Friday. However, prior to the hearing getting underway, Judge Fullam was told that the claim for pony trek accident compensation had been resolved following discussions and the case could be struck.

New Employees Suffering More Workplace Accidents due to Inexperience

Posted on: March 11th, 2016

The Health and Safety Authority (HAS) has launched a radio awareness campaign aimed at reducing workplace accidents due to inexperience.

A recent HSA/ESRI study of workplace accidents found that new employees are four times more likely to suffer workplace accidents due to inexperience in the first six months of a new job. The research was based on workplace injury and illness figures over a 12 year period from 2001 to 2012.

The study found that new employees – and not just younger ones – were at a much higher risk of being involved in workplace accident due to a lack of training and supervision, a reluctance to question instructions, or a lack of safety knowledge.

The risk of injury and the incidence of workplace accidents decreases with age and experience according to the study. This is explained in the HSA/ESRI report as being due to lower risk-taking and a reduction in the involvement of manual tasks.

Martin O’Halloran – Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority – is concerned that employers should be aware their new employees are a vulnerable group: He said:

“It is vital that new workers are given adequate training and supervision. This means showing a person the correct way of doing a task and making sure that they can carry out the task correctly and safely. This is particularly important in sectors like construction and agriculture where hazards such as machinery, work at height and manual-handling are common.”

Mr O´Halloran continued: “When we inspect a workplace we are looking for signs that the employer is actively managing safety and health. We find that the good employers are aware of their obligations and have a strong focus on induction training.”

The awareness campaign will run on the radio until March 18th. It is primarily aimed at reducing workplace accidents due to inexperience by reminding employers of their duties in relation to new employees.

Injury Compensation Claim for a Fall in a Barn Resolved at High Court Hearing

Posted on: May 20th, 2015

A man who lost his senses of taste and smell after a farm accident has resolved his injury compensation claim for a fall in a barn at a hearing at the High Court.

On August 11th 2008, Con Oxley from Cullahill in County Laois was installing light fittings at a barn in nearby Ballacolla owned by farmer Mark Quigley. In preparation to install the lights, Con was rolling out electric cable and intending to use a plank suspended across two boxes to negotiate his way from fitting to fitting.

However, when Con stepped on the plank to move from the first fitting to the second, it gave way. Con fell eight feet onto the floor of the barn – hitting his head badly as he landed. As a result of his fall, Con has lost his senses of taste and smell and has been left with poor vision in his left eye.

Con made an injury compensation claim for a fall in a barn against Mark Quigley – alleging that the planks he had been provided with were unsuitable for the job and that the one he had stepped on had a crack in it. He also claimed that was a failure to provide intermediate support under the planks so that they were safe to walk on.

Quigley denied his alleged liability for Con´s injuries and the Injuries Board issued Con with an authorisation to pursue his claim through the courts. However, before a court date could be set, the two men negotiated a settlement to Con´s injury compensation claim for a fall in a barn – with Con accepting €300,000 compensation without an admission of liability from Quigley.

At the High Court, Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the settlement after hearing that the €300,000 settlement was approximately half of what Con may have been awarded had his injury compensation claim for a fall in a barn gone to a full hearing. Judge Cross said that the settlement was a wise option as Con´s contributory negligence for failing to inspect the planks would have been called into question.

Statistics for Fatal Farm Accidents in Ireland Highlighted in Workplace Safety Handbook

Posted on: May 6th, 2015

Statistics for fatal farm accidents in Ireland have received a special mention in a recently-released workplace safety handbook – the “Safety Representative Resource Book”.

The National Irish Safety Organisation´s “Safety Representative Resource Book” was launched last week by the Minister for Business and Employment – Ged Nash – at a joint national event to mark Workers Memorial Day Ireland.

In addition to Mr Nash and representatives of the National Irish Safety Organisation, the event to commemorate workers killed, injured or made ill by their working conditions was attended by Patricia King – General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions – Martin O´Halloran, CEO of the Health and Safety Authority, and Danny McCoy from the business and employer association IBEC.

The commemorative event had a sober overtone – particularly when representatives were reminded that 253 persons had been killed in work-related accidents between 2010 and 2014, and that many thousands more had been injured or had suffered ill health. In 2014 alone there were 56 work-related deaths in total – an average of more than one a week – including five children.

Statistics for fatal farms accidents in Ireland were particularly disturbing. Thirty workers lost their lives on Irish farms last year, bringing the total of farms deaths in Ireland in the past ten years to 198. Of those 198 fatal accidents, the Safety Representative Resource Book reveals:

  • 30% of fatalities involved tractors or other farm vehicles
  • 19% of fatalities involved farm machinery
  • 13% of fatalities involved livestock
  • 11% of fatalities resulted from contact with slurry pits
  • 9% of fatalities resulted from falls from height, and
  • 7% of fatalities resulted from being hit by a falling object.

Commenting on the statistics for fatal farm accidents in Ireland, Patricia King said “no job is worth somebody´s life”. She added that “health and safety is non-negotiable” and called on workers throughout Ireland to co-operate with employers and government to prevent a repeat of the fatalities experienced in 2014.

Boy Dies due to Inhaling Fumes from a Slurry Pit – Father in Hospital

Posted on: June 10th, 2014

An eight-year-old boy has died due to inhaling fumes from a slurry pit in a tragic family accident which resulted in the boy´s father fighting for his life in a Belfast hospital.

On request of the Robert Christie´s family, few details of how the eight-year-old boy died due to inhaling fumes from a slurry pit have yet been released by police, but it is believed that Robert and his father – Bertie Christie – were mixing slurry on a neighbour´s farm in Donloy, County Antrim.

Father and son were discovered late on Saturday afternoon by a postman visiting the farm, and the emergency services were called. Robert was taken to Belfast´s Royal Victoria Hospital by air ambulance where he was pronounced dead, while Bertie remains in a critical condition at the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine.

Barclay Bell – Deputy President of the Ulster Farmers Union – offered an explanation of how the accident may have occurred.

He said that slurry pits at often full of animal waste that has accumulated since the winter to be used as fertilizer. While it is stored in the pits, a lethal combination of gasses develops – most seriously methane and hydrogen sulphide – which release poisonous fumes as the slurry is agitated to be used on the fields.

It is often difficult to know when the poisonous fumes have dispersed because they have no smell and, as the gasses from which the fumes are produced are heavier than air, they tend to remain lower to the ground – potentially explaining how Bertie Christie did not sustain such a serious injury as his son.

Northern Ireland´s Health and Safety Executive are already investigating Robert´s death due to inhaling fumes from a slurry pit the organization´s Chief Executive -Keith Morrison – had this message for the grieving family: “Incidents like this show starkly the dangers which our farming communities face and my heart goes out to those affected by this tragic accident”.

This is an Information site only – if you feel you have a potential claim, you should discuss your situation with a solicitor registered with the Law Society of Ireland.