Rodney Forde, a 39 year old Tallaght man, who sustained an injury to his back when he was fitting a clamp to a car at Fishamble Street on the 26th of August 2003 has lost his claim for damages.
Mr. Forde claimed that his injury was sustained by reason of the negligence on the part of his employers, Central Parking System Ireland Limited t/a Control Plus. Mr. Forde claimed that he was not provided with a safe system of work and that he was required to work with equipment that was defective.
The Plaintiff claimed that one of the component parts of the clamping mechanism used by him at the time of his injury, namely an item known as a “November bar” was defective. He alleged that the relevant November bar was probably bent and that this caused it to become snagged, stuck or wedged such that he injured his back when he was trying to dislodge it. He claimed that employees were advised in every case to fit a November bar to a car which was being clamped and that complaints had been made about the difficulty of trying to fit these devices particularly having regard to the quota that they were expected to achieve.
The Defendant denied the pleas of negligence alleged against it and pleaded contributory negligence. They claimed that the Plaintiff did not take care for his own safety, did not act in accordance with his training and/or over extended himself in performing the manoeuvre which caused his injury.
Judge Irvine in the High Court stated that she was not satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the November bar which the Plaintiff used on the night became snagged in the manner alleged by him. She also said that she was not satisfied that he injured his back using significant force to remove the bar. The Judge rejected that the injury was sustained by reason of excessive force exerted by the Plaintiff on a defective November bar. The Plaintiff’s claim was dismissed.