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Depression leading to Garda Leaving Post results in €76,000 Award

A garda who left the force 10 years early because of depression due to finger that was broken by a person being deported, has been awarded approximately €76,000.

The Garda had first taken the work injury compensation against the State for €310,893 due to his loss of earnings. Along with this he submitted a claim filed seeking damages for personal injuries related to the physical damage to his right small finger around 20 years ago.

Judge Twomey said the loss-of-earnings figure had been was submitted due to the incident in which his finger had been broken resulting in the Garda becoming depressed and retiring from the force. In addition to this, the decision was taken to anonymise his compensation application and referred to the garda only as Garda B. This was due to the fact that the case involved very personal details about the garda’s family.

The Judge said that said Garda B had  been given two injections and no other medical treatment for the fracture and completed a total physical recovery. The chief stumbling point in the case remained the extent to which Garda B’s psychiatric injuries could be attributed to the incident when his little finger had been broken.

Judge Twomey said compensation awards must be fair both to a plaintiff and defendant and modest damages should be awarded due to the minor injuries, moderate damages for middling injuries and severe injuries should lead to compensation which os distinguishable from catastrophic injuries.

Using this reasoning, the Judge awarded €42,699 for loss of earnings, €10,000 for physical pain and suffering due to the fractured finger and €10,000 for psychological pain and suffering caused by his depression that was brought on by the incident.

In addition to this, Judge Twomey awarded the garda €8,180 for out-of-pocket medical expenses in relation to both the physical and mental suffering and €5,100 for loss of income due to absence on sick leave because of the fracture alone – a complete sum of €75,981 damages.