LITIGATION & DISPUTE RESOLUTION

With a dedicated team of experienced attorneys, Alastair Purdy & Co knows that the best way to address our clients’ legal issues is to understand their
business and industry. Your case is important to us.
Read on to learn about our areas of expertise.

Our Litigation & Dispute Resolution Services

Insurance Defence Litigation

The litigation department at Alastair Purdy and Co, consists of a number of experienced litigation solicitors. Headed by Alastair Purdy, whose employment law credentials speak for themselves, and supported by Donald McGann, Siobhan McGowan and Fiona Burke, each of whom bring a mix of experience from different relevant areas of litigation the firm acts on behalf of both Insurers and self-Insured companies involved in a number of different sectors:

  • Food and Processing,Financial
  • Construction
  • Quarrying
  • Health Care
  • Aviation
  • Hotel and Nightclub
  • Hair and Beauty industry

 

Within each sector, we offer advice in the following areas of Law:

  • Employers Liability
  • Public Liability
  • Industrial disease claims, repetitive strain injuries, occupational injuries, Hernia Injuries,
    carpal tunnel syndrome, psychological injuries
  • Road traffic accident claims – all types from alleged whiplash to catastrophic injuries/fatal claims
  • Personal injury and property damage caused by fire
  • Catastrophic accidents at work and to the public resulting in death or serious injury
  • Property damage claims
  • Bullying
  • Slips and Trips
  • Alleged Assault
  • Coroner’s Court

 

Each Solicitor has extensive experience in litigating claims at all Court levels, and advocate on behalf of clients in the lower courts, Labour Court and WRC.

We are a commercially minded, and offer our clients clear advice and tactics, early in any proceedings, in order for them to achieve the most cost effective outcome. When claims do proceed to litigation, we offer practical legal advice, which allows clients to robustly Defend a claim in the most effective manner.

Fatal Workplace Injuries

Probably the most stressful type of accident that can occur on a business premises is a fatal workplace accident.

When dealing with these accidents most commentators focus on the penalties given by the Courts, arising out of a successful prosecution or plea of guilty.    However, in our experience, if a business is unfortunate enough to experience a workplace fatality, they will have to consider a number of different legal issues, some of which will be emotionally charged, and very stressful for the employees of the business. In dealing with each of these issues, a business will benefit greatly from engaging expert legal advice at an early stage.

Fatal Accident Issues

In our experience, the following is a non-exhaustive list of issues a business will face if a fatal accident occurs:

  • Employer’s responsibilities pursuant to the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005.
  • Obligations to the deceased family.
  • Insurance cover.
  • Dealing with a potential An Garda Siochana investigation, and an Investigation by the Health & Safety Authority
  • Company officers and employees rights during an interview by the Health & Safety Authority or An Garda Siochana.
  • Dealing with the Coroners Court
  • Dealing with a Criminal prosecution pursuant to Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005, as amended or the Road Traffic Acts, as amended.
  • Representation in the District court, and Circuit Criminal Court.
  • Dealing with a Civil case issued pursuant to the Civil Liability Act, 1961, as amended.

More often than not the area which causes greatest concern and stress for Employers is the Coroners Court and Criminal Sanctions.

Coroners Court

The Coroners’ core function is to investigate sudden and unexplained deaths so that a death certificate can be issued.   This doesn’t happen in all cases, but a Coroner’s investigation is common place in fatal workplace accident.    This investigation takes the form of a court case, wherein the Coroner requests certain witness to attend court and they can be cross examined by the deceased representative and An Garda Siochana.   We would recommend all employers to take legal advice in respect of the Coroners Court.

Criminal Proceedings

These are usually take the form of a HSA investigation, followed by the issuing of one or more summons against the Employer, for breach of certain provisions of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005, as amended. The local State Solicitor, acting on behalf of the DPP will prosecute the case, which always commences in the District Court, but, upon service of the Book of Evidence is usually remitted to the Circuit Court for Trial.

What We Do

Alastair Purdy and Co. Solicitors have represented a number of employers in fatal injury cases, advising them from two one, on their Insurance Cover, how to manage the proceedings, representing them during cautioned interviews, the Coroners Court, the District Court, and both Criminal and Civil Courts.

If your company has had the unfortunate experience of suffering the loss of an employee during the course of his employment, and requires legal advice, Alastair Purdy and Co. Solicitors are available to assist.

Workplace Accidents

Workplace accidents are commonplace for some employers, in particular those who are engaged in industries which require manual labour.

Prior to any activity-taking place, there are legal obligations on employers to take certain steps to ensure the workplace is safe.    The main piece of legislation often quoted is Section 8 of the Health, Safety and Welfare at Work Act, 2005, which sets out a list of responsibilities employers have to their employees.  However, different Industries can have additional pieces of Legislation, which apply to them. For example, the Haulage Industry will have to comply with certain requirements under the Road Traffic legislation.   Employer’s responsibilities can also extend to non-employees, contractors, and fixed term and temporary workers.

 

Employers

In common law an employer owes a duty of care to his employees.  If an employer fails below the standard of care, and breaches its duty it can be found liable for an injury to one of its employees.

Assuming an employer has trained staff correctly, carries out the necessary risk assessments, and Safety Statement, what happens if an employee is injured?   Ultimately, the Employers safety procedures are put to the test.

When dealing with a workplace accident, an employer has many different areas to consider, firstly, ascertaining a clear picture of the alleged incident by compiling a detailed incident report form.

Early engagement with a legal advisor can be vital in setting out what steps an Employer should take, to reduce its potential exposure to liability, legal proceedings and excessive costs.

 

What We Provide

Alastair Purdy and Co, Solicitors currently represent a number of self-insured and insured employers in the Aviation, Construction, Health Care, and Meat industry.  We advise them on their potential liability in respect of Workplace accidents, and assist them in Defending personal Injury claims.  We do this by offering them practical legal advice, which seeks to reduce their exposure, and give them commercial certainty.

If your company has requires legal advice in respect of an injury suffered by an employee during the course of his employment, Alastair Purdy and Co. Solicitors are available to assist

Occupational Injury and Illness

Workplace accidents are commonplace for some employers, in particular those who are engaged in industries which require manual labour.

Prior to any activity-taking place, there are legal obligations on employers to take certain steps to ensure the workplace is safe.    The main piece of legislation often quoted is Section 8 of the Health, Safety and Welfare at Work Act, 2005, which sets out a list of responsibilities employers have to their employees.    However, different Industries can have additional pieces of Legislation, which apply to them.   For example, the Haulage Industry will have to comply with certain requirements under the Road Traffic legislation.   Employer’s responsibilities can also extend to non-employees, contractors, and fixed term and temporary workers.    

In common law an employer owes a duty of care to his employees.  If an employer fails below the standard of care, and breaches its duty it can be found liable for an injury to one of its employees.   

Assuming an employer has trained staff correctly, carries out the necessary risk assessments, and Safety Statement, what happens if an employee is injured?   Ultimately, the Employers safety procedures are put to the test. 

When dealing with a workplace accident, an employer has many different areas to consider, firstly, ascertaining a clear picture of the alleged incident by compiling a detailed incident report form. 

Early engagement with a legal advisor can be vital in setting out what steps an Employer should take, to reduce its potential exposure to liability, legal proceedings and excessive costs.

Alastair Purdy and Co, Solicitors currently represent a number of self-insured and insured employers in the Aviation, Construction, Health Care, and Meat industry.  We advise them on their potential liability in respect of Workplace accidents, and assist them in Defending personal Injury claims.  We do this by offering them practical legal advice, which seeks to reduce their exposure, and give them commercial certainty.

If your company requires legal advice in respect of an injury suffered by an employee during the course of their employment, Alastair Purdy and Co. Solicitors are available to assist and can be contacted directly here.

 

Bullying in the workplace

Workplace bullying allegations can be extremely difficult to manage, in particular for smaller business as the allegations can involve management, which can create management difficulties.

As Employment Law, experts Alastair Purdy and Co Solicitors have extensive experience in advising employers on drafting, and implementing workplace-bullying policies, managing complaints, carrying out fair investigations, and representing employers in WRC actions.    For the avoidance of doubt, Alastair Purdy and Co Solicitors prepare, represent and advocate WRC cases themselves, on instruction from their clients.

If the Bullying allegations results in an alleged Personal Injury, this can lead to employees commencing certified sick leave, and lodging a claim with the Injuries Board.    More often than not litigation is issued in the Circuit or High Court under the guise of either a stress related Personal Injuries action, a breach of contract claim, or a breach of statutory duty by the employer (usually all three).

 

What Is It?

 ‘Workplace bullying is repeated inappropriate behaviour, direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or others, at the place of work and/or in the course of employment, which could reasonably be regarded as undermining the individual’s right to dignity at work’

 

In the case of Ruffley v. Board of Management of St Anne’s School [2017] 20 ELR 61, the Supreme Court broke down this definition in detail.    Helpfully the Court gave examples of potential inappropriate behaviour such as ridicule, personal antagonism, exclusion from a group, shouting at people, the making of disparaging remarks in private or public about work, intimidation, the use of aggressive or obscene language, spying, and stalking as they are unacceptable at the level of human interaction.   The Supreme Court further held that inappropriate behaviour could be in the context of: 

 

‘Purposely undermining an individual, targeting them for special negative treatment, the manipulation of their reputation, social exclusion or isolation, intimidation, aggressive or obscene behaviour.” 

 

Regarding undermining someone’s dignity at work, the Supreme Court held that it had to be limited to claims to those which might be described as “outrageous, unacceptable and exceeding all bounds tolerated by decent society” 

 

However, on a practical day-to-day level, workplace bullying allegations can be extremely difficult for an employer to manage.   In particular, for smaller business, as the allegations can involve multiple parties within the business, which can lead to management difficulties.

 

As Employment Law experts, Alastair Purdy and Co Solicitors have extensive experience in advising employers on drafting, and implementing workplace-bullying policies, managing complaints, carrying out investigations which are procedurally fair, and representing employers in WRC actions.    For the avoidance of doubt, A.P. & Co’s Solicitors prepare, represent and advocate WRC cases themselves, on instruction from their clients.   Therefore, employers get hands on impartial advice from start to finish.

 

If the Bullying allegations results in an alleged Personal Injury, this can lead to employees commencing certified sick leave, and lodging a claim with the Injuries Board.    More often than not litigation is issued in the Circuit or High Court, under the guise of a stress related Personal Injuries action, a breach of contract claim, or a breach of statutory duty by the employer (usually all three).   AP & Co currently advice and represent a number of employers in the Financial, Recruitment, Medical, Food, Aviation, Retail and Leisure industries in defending Bully claims in both the Circuit Court and High Court.   AP & Co’s team has extensive knowledge and experience in advising employers on how to defend these types of claims, from initial investigation, to navigating the claims through the Injuries Board, and defending the claims in either Circuit Court and High Court.  We take a client focused view on matters, with a commercial focus.

 

What We Do

Alastair Purdy and Co currently represent a number of employers in the Financial, Recruitment, Medical, Food, Aviation, retail and Leisure industries in defending Bully claims in both the Circuit Court and High Court.   Alastair Purdy and Co team has extensive knowledge and experience in advising employers on how to defend these types of claims, navigating the claims through the Injuries Board, Circuit Court and High Court.

If your company requires legal advice in respect of an Workplace Bullying, concerns that have been raised by an employee during the course of their employment, Alastair Purdy and Co. Solicitors are available to assist.

 

Private Clients

We advise and assist our clients in all areas of personal injury litigation ranging from matters such as road traffic accidents and work place injuries.

Due to our wealth of knowledge, we are well placed to fully advise and assist you on such matters in order that you always feel fully supported at every stage.

If you requires legal advice, Alastair Purdy and Co. Solicitors are available to assist and can be contacted directly here.

 

WE ARE A NATIONAL LAW FIRM, WITH SOLICITORS IN DUBLIN, GALWAY & LIMERICK

Get in touch with one of our solicitors today.

091 56 57 65

info@purdyandco.ie

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