A man is suing his employer in the High Court over catastrophic injuries he sustained when he fell more than 500ft descending a mountain in MacGillycuddy’s Reeks in Co Kerry.
The man, an engineering manager with Dublin Air Traffic Control, had been climbing the mountain as part of a team building exercise in 2016 when the accident occurred.
The complainant claims that in April of 2016, he had been informed by his employer, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), that he was to take part in what he believed to be a mandatory team building exercise in MacGillycuddy’s Reeks.
Difficult Mountaineering Trek
He further claims that, after being demanded to undertake a difficult mountaineering trek lasting several hours over challenging terrain, he and his group were then required to to descend the northwest aspect of the northeastern spur of Cnoc na Toinne, an exposed route about 600m above sea level.
It was during this descent that the man fell 574ft down the face of the mountain, unable to control or stop his fall due to the significant momentum his fall had gained.
As a result of the fall, he suffered repeated impact on rocks, life threatening injuries, as well as being rendered tetraplegic and now requiring the use of a wheelchair.
Led to Believe Participation Mandatory
The complainant alleges that the team building exercise organised by the IAA should have been known to be dangerous, and that there was a failure to have regard for the level of expertise required to successfully or safely trek the planned route. He further claims that he was led to believe his attendance or participation was mandatory.
In addition to the IAA, the complainant’s action is also against a man who organises team building exercises, Pat Falvey of Irish and Worldwide Adventures Ltd of Beaufort, Killarney.
All claims have been denied and full defences filed.
Mr Justice Tony O’Connor is due to hear the liability issue first when the case returns before the High Court.
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