Postman awarded €16,000 for big-toe injury

A judge, who today awarded a postman and former Balbriggan town councillor €16,000 damages for an injured big toe, said he was not satisfied An Post had provided him with protective shoes.

Circuit Court president, Mr Justice Matthew Deery, said that when an engineer visited Balbriggan sorting office to investigate the accident he had found a number of workers who were not wearing obligatory steel toe-capped footwear.

Some of them were wearing their own sports-style runners or soft casual shoes, Judge Deery said.

Barrister Pat Purcell, counsel for injured postal sorter Edward Pyne, told the Circuit Civil Court that the last pair of protective shoes his client had been given three years before the November 2006 accident, had long been worn out.

Civil Engineer Donal Terry said that if Mr Pyne, of Bremore, Balbriggan, had been wearing protective shoes when a package of floorboards disintegrated on his right foot, the injury would have been avoided.

Pyne, a former Balbriggan Town Councillor who will celebrate his sixty-second birthday tomorrow, told Mr Purcell he had worked with An Post since 1972.

The court heard he had originally been provided with protective shoes when he formerly worked as a post van driver prior to transferring to an inside job.

As time went on new uniforms would be delivered to employees but without the steel toe-capped shoes.

Mr Purcell told the court his client had to have several operations on his right big toe after he suffered an in-growing toe nail and a number of infections for which he had to take antibiotics.

Judge Deery said he was not satisfied Mr Pyne had received protective footwear for his work or that concerns had been met over the level of supervision regarding the wearing of protective footwear.

An Post had denied liability and in its defence claimed Mr Pyne had failed to wear proper safety footwear which had been provided to him on two separate occasions.

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