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Child Injury Claim

Teenager Compensated for Childhood Injury

Posted: August 4th, 2016


A twelve year-old boy has received a settlement of compensation after a Dublin creche conceded negligence in a childhood accident.

In 2007, when Calum Lawless was just three years old, he attended the Happy Days Creche in Clonee, Dublin. As he was running about in the creche, he tripped and fell over an uneven floorboard, landing flat on his face. This resulted in a three-centimetre laceration just above his eye, which was then closed at the VHI Swifcare Clinic at Dublin City University.

For a week after the accident, Calum’s eye remained closed. The area remained heavily bruised for a month after the accident. Now aged twelve, the only indication that Calum was involved in an accident is a scar above his eye – though it remains too close to the eye for plastic surgery.

Lorraine Lawless, Calum’s mother, sought legal counsel and proceeded to make a claim for medical negligence compensation against the Happy Days Creche. She alleged that the facility had failed to provide a safe place for her son to play, and as such breached their duty of care towards him.

The creche conceded liability for Calum’s injuries, offering him a compensation settlement of €45,000. Yet before this could be awarded, it needed to be approved by a judge.

The case proceeded to the Circuit Civil Court, Dublin, where Mr Justice James O’Donohoe was told of Calum’s accident. He then proceeded to award the settlement for Calum’s childhood injury.


Teenage Girl Compensated for Camping Holiday Accident

Posted: July 9th, 2016

Dublin’s High Court have approved a settlement of compensation for a seventeen year-old girl who injured her leg whilst playing as a child on a camping site.

When Shauna Burke was ten years old, she visited the Slattery Caravan Park in Co. Clare with her family. As she was playing in a popular area of the park with friends, she injured her leg on a nail that was protruding from a pole.

The nail lacerated Shauna’s leg and despite speedy medical attention, Shauna was left with a very noticeable scar above her knee. John, Shuana’s father, sought legal counsel and proceeded to make a claim on her behalf against Austin Francis Slattery, the owner of the holiday park.

The claim accused Slattery of negligence, alleging that he was aware of the nail as it was in an area of the facility that was very popular with tourists. However, though Slattery denied that he was liable for Shauna’s injuries and subsequent scar, he did offer a settlement of compensation worth €106,000 for Shauna’s injury and cost of treatment.

Yet, when the claim was made, Shauna was a minor and as such the case had to proceed to the High Court of Dublin for approval by a judge. In the court, the hearing was overseen by Mr Justice Anthony Barr who, after inspecting Shauna’s scar, approved the settlement.

Shauna will soon turn eighteen, and the settlement will be held in court funds until Shauna is legally an adult.

Approval for Psychological Trauma Compensation Denied

Posted: July 27th, 2015

The Circuit Civil Court has not approved a €15,000 compensation settlement for a child who suffered psychological trauma whilst at a crèche, deeming it insufficient for the injuries inflicted. 

When she was just eight months old, Emilie Kiely – now aged four – started attending the Giraffe Crèche in Stepaside in 2011. By September 2012, she was moved to the “Toddlers’ Room”, but this caused her great stress and anxiety. She would become worried in the mornings when her parents were preparing to take her to the crèche. 

However, in May 2013, a Prime Time documentary  (entitled “A Breach of Trust) aired on RTE, alleging that the Giraffe Crèche was mistreating its charges. Emilie’s parents immediately removed their daughter from the crèche when they saw footage of one of the carers screaming at other children in the facility. 

Emilie’s parents sought legal counsel and her father, John, proceeded to make a claim for psychological trauma against the crèche on behalf of his daughter. In the claim, he alleges that his daughter’s behaviour has been negatively affected by the experience and, after transfer for the Toddlers’ Rom, she would cry “No crèche!” in the morning. It was claimed that Emilie suffered stress, emotional trauma and terror because of the breach in duty of care by the childcare facility. 

Though Giraffe Childcare and Early Learning Centre denied the claims, they still offered a €15,000 compensation settlement to Emilie for her psychological trauma, without an admission of liability. The settlement had to proceed to the courts for approval as it was for a minor. 

The case was heard at the Circuit Civil Court by Judge James O’Donahue. However, the judge ruled that – given the amount Emilie suffered – the amount of compensation offered (€15,000) was insufficient. 

Judge O’Donahue then ruled that the case should have a full hearing with another judge. This ruling will have implications for up to twenty-five other claims for compensation against the Giraffe Childcare and Early Learning Centre for children who suffered similar trauma whilst attending the facility. Emilie’s parents have also made a claim for breach of contract, though that is also yet to be resolved. 

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