Health and safety trainer loses €60,000 action against Lidl over lifting heavy pack of bottles

A health and safety trainer, who allegedly showed reckless disregard for his own safety by lifting weights he would advise others not to lift, has lost a €60,000 damages claim against Lidl and has been ordered to pay the store’s significant legal costs.

Judge Alice Doyle told 40-year-old Adam Kaminski that while she considered him an honest witness, the court considered he had been adequately and extensively trained in safety procedures by Lidl.

Garreth Holland, a Lidl administrative executive, told the court sitting in Wexford that Kaminski, of Elm Park, New Ross, had undergone an intensive five-day manual handling course just over a year before an incident in which he claimed to have injured his lower back.

Mr Holland said Mr Kaminski had in fact become a qualified manual handling trainer for Lidl before the August 2018 incident at its Marsh Meadows outlet had happened.

Mr Kaminski claimed he had injured a disc in his back when lifting a heavy pack of water bottles. He said he had suffered pain in his lower back and left leg but had continued working on through his shift.

The court heard he had been seen by a doctor in New Ross who had certified him unfit for work. He had never taken up his job again with Lidl, but instead was now working as a customer assistant with a transport company.

Mr Kaminiski told barrister Kevin Byrne, who appeared with Ronan Daly Jermyn solicitors for the store, that because of a long waiting list in Ireland for orthopaedic appointments, he had travelled to his native Poland for surgery on his back. In October 2018 he had undergone a discectomy there.

Back in Wexford, he had revisited his GP Dr Michael O’Beirne in November 2018 who had advised him to commence a physiotherapy programme of rehabilitation.

Dismissing Mr Kaminski’s claim, Judge Doyle said he had been adequately trained and had diverged from that extensive training given by Lidl against whom she could not find any evidence of negligence or breach of duty.

She ordered Mr Kaminski to pay Lidl’s legal costs of contesting his claim.

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