A van driver who was lifted and dragged through the air while a mattress he was delivering was caught by a gust of wind has been awarded €380,000 ($466,000) for his injuries. 

Declan Homan claimed he hurt his back during the incident, in which he was dragged four meters by the mattress.

The man told the High Court that the delivery was the last of 16 he had performed on that day.

The 54-year-old Offaly man sued his employers Etman (where one of his brothers is the director) but the company denied liability and contended the incident was an Act of God.

Homan said he was not able to work since the incident in December 2011.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross found negligence for reasons including failure to train staff on lifting mattress procedures in unpredictable circumstances. 

According to the Irish Times, Justice Cross put a stay on the €380,000 award pending any appeal on condition €175,000 is paid out now.

The court also heard that Homan has been on several foreign holidays including Florida, Spain, Corfu, and Tenerife - financed by his wife.

Justice Cross accepted that from medical evidence, Homan is on the lower end of the chronic pain spectrum - meaning while his pain is significant, it is not severe.

The total money awarded includes loss of earnings, but will deduct illness related social welfare payments to date, bringing the award to €380,000 ($466,000) plus costs of the five day hearing.