A cattle drover is to receive damages in his injury claim for being kicked by a cow from his employer after the Supreme Court ruled that the employer had placed the injured employee at risk.
Mr. Patrick Lynch (53), had been one of a team of three cattle drovers who were employed by Co-operative 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 that 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.
When Mr. Lynch was moving through the animal pen to open a gate, the court heard 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 medical treatment.
The court ruled that, although a safe procedure of work was in place when all three drovers 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, Co-operative Mart was liable for his injuries.
The action has now been referred to the High Court for the assessment of damages.