Ryanair baggage handler: “Every time anything happens it’s our fault” court told

A Ryanair baggage handler has told the High Court how he “expected to be blamed” when he hurt his arm after helping lift up a colleague to close a plane cargo hold before take off from Dublin Airport.

“Every time anything happens it’s our fault, the company never takes responsibility,” he told Mr Justice Kevin Cross.

Tomasz Zborowski was giving evidence in the second day of his action against Ryanair over the accident when he claims he hurt his arm when he gave a colleague a lift up to reach and close a plane cargo hold before a Ryanair flight took off for Malta.

The baggage handler said the strap to close the door wasn’t there. Sometimes he said the strap would be broken or missing and somebody would jump up to close the door or get a lift up to shut the cargo hold.

“I cupped my hands for his leg. I lifted him to catch the door. I felt heavy pain and a crack on my arm,” he told Mr Justice Cross about the incident before the flight to Malta took off.

The 39-year-old later in his native Poland discovered a tear to a tendon around his elbow and he had to have surgery. He was out of work for seven months after the accident in June 2017.

He told the court he later faced an investigation and disciplinary hearing on the matter and received a written warning and his wages were stopped for a number of weeks.

Equipment

Ryanair has claimed that Mr Zborowski did not use equipment to reach the cargo hold.

After he returned to work in February 2018 Mr Zborowski said he saw other people being lifted to close cargo holds and he said “nobody got corrected for it.”

He said in August 2018 he took a photograph beside a Ryanair plane in which he claimed a supervisor was “lifting another guy to the hold”. He said he had taken the photograph because it was hard to prove “everybody was doing it.”

Tomasz Zborowski, Waterside,Malahide, Dublin has sued Ryanair over the accident at Dublin Airport on June 24th,2017.

He has claimed there was an alleged failure to take any precautions for his safety and an alleged failure to provide an alternative means of closing the cargo hold.

He has further claimed he was allegedly permitted to lift up a fellow employee for the purpose of closing the cargo hold due to the time pressure of the turnaround.

He has also claimed there was an alleged failure to provide him with any or any adequate equipment to enable thecargo hold to be closed safely.

The claims are denied and Ryanair claims there was alleged contributory negligence on the part of the baggage handler.

It further claims Mr Zborowski failed to avail of available machinery and appliances.

Cross examined by Ryanair Counsel Andrew Walker BL Mr Zborowski agreed at a disciplinary meeting with the company he admitted he had made the wrong choice at the time of the Malta flight but he said he was afraid about his job if he fought with the company.

The case before Mr Justice Kevin Cross continues on Tuesday.