A cattle drover is to receive damages from his employer in his injury claim for being injured by a farm animal after the Supreme Court ruled that the employer had placed the injured employee at risk. He was kicked by a bullock.
Mr. Patrick Lynch (53) had been one of a team of three cattle drovers who were employed by a Co-op Mart in October 2003 to herd cattle from a pen in the mart yard to a dividing pen prior to their entering the sales ring.
However, on the day Mr. Lynch sustained his injuries, his two companions had absented themselves temporarily, and it was claimed in court that Mr. Lynch had to perform the two absent drovers’ tasks, as well as his own, which required him to enter the individual pens while they were occupied by animals.
As Mr. Lynch was moving through the animal pen to open a gate, the court was told how a Limousin bullock delivered a direct kick to Mr. Lynch’s groin, causing significant trauma to the scrotum and giving rise to a haemorrhage which caused damage to his right testis. Mr. Lynch was subsequently taken to hospital for further treatment.
The court ruled that, although a safe procedure of work was in place when three workers were present, there was no system of supervision by the employer. As the improper absence of the other two drovers exposed Mr. Lynch to danger, the Co-op Mart was liable for the injuries he suffered.
The case has now been referred to the High Court for the final assessment of damages.