A delivery man has been awarded €30,000 after hurting his back lifting trays of bread

The man tried to lift a 20kg tray while working in Ballymun.

By Ray Managh

A 40-YEAR-OLD delivery driver, who injured his lower back when lifting a tray of bread, has been awarded €30,000 damages for personal injury.

Barrister Bebhinn Murphy told the Circuit Civil court that Arunas Dumskis claimed he had been put in a position of having to lift the tray which weighed more than 20 kilograms “or four stones in old measure.”

Murphy said the defendant, Il Valentino Continental Bakery, of Ulysses House, Foley Street, Dublin, had failed to enter an appearance in the proceedings and Dumskis, of  The Hamptons, Santry Cross, Dublin, had obtained judgment against the company.

Counsel, who appeared with Robinson O’Neill Solicitors for Dumskis, told Circuit Court President, Justice Raymond Groarke, that the matter had been set down for assessment of damages only.

Dumskis told the court that on 9 June 2012 he had been delivering bread at Ballymun, Dublin, and had been taken by surprise by the weight of the tray. When he lifted it he had felt a sharp severe pain in his lower back.

Murphy said her client was alleging negligence and breach of duty on the part of the bakery on the basis it had directed Dumskis to perform an onerous task without adequate training and instruction to complete the exercise safely.

Dumskis had alleged that the bakery breached the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act by failing to ensure the safety and welfare at work by ensuring all appropriate precautions had been taken.

Unable to work

He told the court he had visited his GP and been prescribed painkillers and advised to rest. He was unable to work for three months.

Dumskis said he had returned to Lithuania for a period and while there had attended a doctor.

An ultrasound test on his lower back revealed a degenerative change which was associated with slower recovery. He then attended a specialist in Lithuania on a further four occasions.

Tear

In September 2012 and again in 2014 Dumskis was reviewed by J.A. McKeever, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, who stated in a medical report that he found Dumskis’s injuries consistent with a tear to the supporting muscles of the lumbar spine.

McKeever recorded that Dumskis had a “powerful build.”

In 2014 McKeever described Dumskis’s recovery to be 95% complete with the remaining 5% relating to intermittent stiffness and discomfort.

Dumskis told him he has lost 20 pounds and he was extremely impressed by the improvement in his physique and gait which was largely as a result of his adherence to a recovery regime outlined on his original visit.

Judge Groarke awarded him €30,000 damages and costs.

Clarification: An file image previously featured on this article was used for illustrative purposes only and had no connection with the case.

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