Case of ESB worker suing over stag attack adjourned to next week

The second day of the hearing was adjourned on Wednesday after the worker suffered an asthma attack in court.
Case of ESB worker suing over stag attack adjourned to next week

An action brought by an ESB worker who was attacked by a stag as he climbed a mountain in Co Tipperary has been put back to next week after it emerged he had to be treated in hospital after an asthma attack in court on Wednesday.

On the second day of the hearing, John Corcoran (63) had begun coughing and needed to use his inhaler while under cross-examination in the witness box and the case was adjourned to Thursday morning.

However, when the case came back before Mr Justice Paul Coffey, he was told Mr Corcoran had been treated in hospital after an asthma attack and was now under the care of his GP and unable to attend court.

His counsel, Roughan Banim SC, told the court Mr Corcoran had been taken to St James’s Hospital on Wednesday evening where he was treated before being discharged. A diagnosis of acute asthma, including tightness of the chest and shortness of breath, had been made.

Mr Justice Coffey adjourned the case to next Tuesday when it is expected to resume.

Kilduff mountain

John Corcoran was an engineering officer with the ESB and was on his way to check on a mast when the stag attacked him on a forestry path at Kilduff Mountain outside Templemore, Co Tipperary six years ago.

The attack took place in September 2016 during what is traditionally rutting season.

He had become unwell in court on Wednesday during cross-examination after giving his direct evidence.

John Corcoran (63), Fawnlough, Nenagh, Co Tipperary has sued ESB Networks Designated Activity Company with a registered address at Clanwilliam House, Clanwilliam Place, Dublin and the Electricity Supply Board with a registered address at East Wall, Dublin over the stag attack on September 12th, 2016.

Mr Justice Paul Coffey was told that liability has been admitted in the case, which is before the court for the assessment of damages only.

The court previously heard Mr Corcoran’s case includes a claim for a total of €420,000 in loss of earnings.

It was claimed Mr Corcoran had been permitted to work alone in a mountain area during the deer mating season when it ought to reasonably have been known that it was dangerous and unsafe to do so.

It was further claimed there was a failure to have in place any warning device, panic alarm, man down system or automatic distress message system for persons working alone in isolated areas.

Attack

In evidence Mr Corcoran said it was a really lovely summer’s day when the attack happened.

“A herd of deer crossed the path in front of me. I said wouldn’t it be a lovely picture and then I got a sense of fear. The hairs on my neck were standing. I looked behind me and there was a stag fifteen paces back from me,” he said.

He started to run but he said the stag hit him with force, his antlers creating eight puncture wounds on Mr Corcoran’s rucksack and wounding him in the shoulder

“He propelled me through the air at speed over a bank and into the scrub. I lost my helmet and glasses,” he said.

The stag continued to attack with his feet and antlers but Mr Corcoran said he had a rod and managed to hit the stag a few times in the nostrils, but it reared up on his hind legs and came crashing down on him.

Mr Corcoran said he lost consciousness for an estimated ten to twelve minutes but later managed to reach his phone and call for help.

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