Andrius worked as a mechanic for a small Irish transport company since 2003. He went back to Lithuania during the recession in 2006 and then came back to working at this company in 2011. He was a mechanic who serviced large delivery trucks.
The company has grown since 2011. At the start they only had 6 trucks. By 2021 the fleet has grown to 25 trucks. The tools to do the job had, however, not changed. Andrius had no pit or overhead lift. In September 2018 he had to remove a fly wheel from a Mercedes truck. There was a collapsed bearing. He used a hammer and chisel to remove the bearing. Andrius was not given any safety goggles and had to use his own yellow tinted glasses. They were slightly down his nose as there was insufficient lighting in the garage to see what he was doing.
A piece of metal came off the chisel and went into his left eye. Andrius reported this to his boss’ wife who took him to hospital. He was referred to another hospital for a specialised eye scan. A doctor checked Andrius’ left eye and the scan and said there was nothing on the scan. Andrius went to several follow up appointments but at no stage did any other doctor check the scan. Andrius went back to Lithuania. The doctors in Lithuania carried out another scan and a 2mm piece of metal was found in his left eye. He was told that he would lose his left eye as the piece of metal had gone rusty. He was also told that it might affect the sight in his right eye.
Andrius was advised that he had two claims. The first claim against his employer for not providing a safe system of work and proper tools. The second claim is a medical negligence claim against the hospital for failing to read the scan properly and inform Andrius of the metal object in his eye.
Andrius was most worried that he would not be able to continue working as a mechanic and would no longer earn any money. He previously worked as a truck driver but would no longer be able to do this as he now only had limited sight. We informed him that he would be able to apply for disability allowance. He would be seen by the Social Welfare doctors and they would assess his disability as a percentage with 100% being total disability and 0% being total fitness. He would then receive a percentage of disability payment for life. The current value of disability payment is €203 per week but increases if you have any dependants.
Andrius told his employer that he would have to take a claim. The employer, a good person, accepted and said that he understood completely given the severity of the injury.
Andrius faces a difficult future ahead. Under the new rules, the compensation will consist of approximately €250,000. In addition, Andrius will be awarded any loss of earnings into the future.
The above story is true. However, the names of the people involved and the locations have been changed to protect their privacy.