Claims News

Widow Recovers Compensation for Death of Husband at Work

Posted on: January 22nd, 2016

The widow of a man killed during the construction of a gym at the Connacht Sportsground is to receive compensation for the death of her husband at work.

In April 2008, thirty-one year old Declan Byrne was employed by CDM Steel Ltd during the construction of a gym at the Connacht Sportsground in Galway. On 30th April, Declan told a colleague that a 1.4 tonne steel beam that had been erected was misaligned and that he was going to fix it.

Because the blockwork of the construction was at an advanced stage, Declan chose to use a scaffold and bottle jack to support the beam rather than a teleporter or a crane. When Declan removed the last of the six bolts keeping the beam in place, it fell on him – causing him to suffer fatal injuries.

The investigation into Declan´s fatal accident resulted in charges being brought against his employer for breaches of the 2005 Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005. However the company was acquitted at a hearing of Galway Circuit Criminal Court in 2013.

During the hearing, Judge Rory McCabe criticised CDM Steel Ltd for failing to have a construction supervisor on the site and for an “appalling lack of communication”. Subsequently, Declan´s widow – Dolores Byrne from Ballyhaunis in County Mayo – claimed compensation for the death of her husband at work.

CDM Steel Ltd and three other defendants against whom the claim was made denied that they had been responsible for Declan´s death due to negligence, and the claim for compensation for the death of a husband at work was scheduled to be heard at the High Court.

However, before the hearing could take place, a settlement of the claim was negotiated amounting to €500,000. At an approval hearing, Mr Justice Kevin Cross told Dolores “nothing can replace what you have lost” before approving the settlement of compensation for the death of a husband at work.



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