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High Court case Sign-fitter jailed for laundering €503k of criminal cash sues former employer over back injury

The court heard that while Glen Power was off work with injuries he developed a cocaine habit and agreed to move money for gang to pay off drug debt

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Glen Power

Glen Power

Glen Power

A sign-fitter has sued his former employer over claims he injured his back while lifting large aluminium sheets onto a van.

Glen Power (32) told the High Court yesterday he never had any trouble with his back prior to the alleged incident on July 25, 2016.

He said he struggled to walk and had pain in his lower back which radiates down his right leg, including pins and needles in his foot, after allegedly pulling his back while working at the company’s Clondalkin factory.

Mr Power, with an address on Colepark Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin, has sued his former employer, Gaelite Limited, with an office at Sandyford Industrial Estate, over the alleged event.

Gaelite Limited denies his allegations and has pleaded that Mr Power was himself negligent and/or guilty of contributory negligence in allegedly failing to exercise reasonable care for his own safety and to comply with his training.

Michael Byrne SC, instructed by Niall Ward of HJ Ward & Company, for Mr Power, said his client has had “considerable trouble” with leg pain and walking long distances.

Mr Power claims he and a co-worker were instructed to lift the 65kg sheets, which were approximately four metres by two metres, to drive them to the company’s other premises.

He said when he complained to his manager that the sheets would not fit into the van he was told to “just get them in”.

He said he felt a “twinge” in his back upon lifting one of the sheets and this pain got “worse and worse” throughout the day. He said he attended the VHI Swiftcare Clinic that evening and could not return to work.

An MRI scan showed a disc was prolapsed and he later received physiotherapy and multiple spinal injections, but these only gave temporary relief, he said. He said on the worst days he would be “crying” from the pain.

The court heard that while he was off work with his injuries Mr Power developed a cocaine habit and agreed to move money for a gang to pay off a drug debt he owed.

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He served a year in prison for a money-laundering offence after he was caught transporting €503,890 of criminal proceeds in a van.

He has been employed as a window fitter since his release from prison in June 2021, the court heard.

The case continues before Mr Justice Garrett Simons.

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