Workman who banged his head as he left toilet cubicle loses €60,000 damages claim

26 May 2022

A six foot five inches tall workman, who banged his head when he forgot to duck as he left a private cubicle in a work loo, has lost a €60,000 damages claim for personal injuries against a former employer.

Jan Kuczynski, of Park Place, Chapelizod Road, Dublin, told Judge James McCourt in the Circuit Civil Court today that he remembered to stoop when he walked into the cubicle but had forgotten to bend down on the way out.

As a result he had banged his forehead against the door frame and injured himself. He claimed to have been severely shocked and shaken and suffered a laceration which bled.

He said his neck had flexed backwards and he immediately felt pain in the back of his neck.

Judge McCourt, who himself stands at six foot three inches, told Mr Kuczynski that he always had to remember to keep a close look-out for risks of danger and had on at least one occasion suffered due to personal inattention of his immediate surroundings.

Defence counsel Eamon Marray told the court Mr Kuczynski could not lay the blame for his accident at the feet of the five defendants, all of whom had entered full defences denying any liability for the accident.

Judge McCourt had early in the case given the parties an opportunity for talks but Mr Kuczynski’s legal team told the court they had received instructions to proceed with the claim.

Mr Kuczynski (50) claimed the accident had been caused by the negligence of the defendants alleging they had installed a door frame on the toilet cubicle with a top section which was excessively low. He said that since his accident the top door frames on cubicles had been padded and highlighted with tape.

Mr Marray appeared with Mason Hayes and Curran Solicitors for Kaizen Recruitment Solutions, Grafton Street, Dublin; several West Pharmaceutical Services companies and Tech Group Europe, all of Barrow Street, Dublin.

In cross-examination Mr Kuczynski told Mr Marray he had worked at the defendants’ plant at Damastown Road, Dublin, for three months prior to the May 2018 accident and had used the toilet cubicle in question on a number of occasions.

Pressed as to his personal responsibility for his own safety, Mr Kucznski conceded in cross-examination that his primary obligation was to have looked where he was going. He accepted Mr Marray’s contention he had to take full responsibility for the accident.

Judge McCourt, dismissing Mr Kuczynski’s claim after Mr Marray sought a direction to have it thrown out, said Mr Kuczynski had considered Mr Marray’s final question, did not like it but had, after a brief consideration, answered it. He had not sought to avoid the question and accepted he had been the author of his own misfortune.

The judge dismissed the case and made no order for costs against Mr Kuczynski.

If you would like an assessment of a claim, you can use the online form available here without obligation or alternatively you can use the automatic claim calculator.

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