A van driver who claimed he hurt his back when a mattress he was delivering was lifted by a gust of wind into the air, draggging him four metres, has been awarded €380,000 damages.

Declan Homan was delivering the mattress to an apartment on the last of 16 deliveries when he was “caught by a gust of wind”, the High Court heard.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross dismissed claims by Mr Homan’s employer the incident occurred due to an “Act of God” and found negligence for reasons including training failures in relation to lifting mattresses.

The fact the particular gust of wind was unpredictable does not result in a successful defence of Acts of God, he held. He put a stay on the €380,000 award pending any appeal on condition €175,000 is paid out now.

The judge accepted Mr Homan has not been able to work since the incident in December 2011 but assumed Mr Homan will be able to do some work in the future.

Source: Irish Times