€14k for three children who were made sick by damp and mouldy home
THREE young children who suffered "recurring respiratory illness" because of the state of their local authority home have been awarded damages against Dublin City Council.
The Circuit Civil Court heard that the mother of the children, Janice Maguire, believed her family's illnesses had been caused by damp and mould in her home at Lissadel Road, Drimnagh, Dublin 12.
Barrister Kevin Lenahan said Ms Maguire had accepted undisclosed damages to settle her own €38,000 personal injuries claim against the City Council.
Judge Jacqueline Linnane approved settlement offers for the three children - €6,000 for Harrison Maguire (5) and €4,000 each for his brother Chad (9) and his sister Kadie Mae (8).
Mr Lenahan told the court that family members who moved into the two-bedroom maisonette in 2010 have had to attend their GP on various occasions during 2010, 2011 and 2012 for ongoing treatment for respiratory illness.
He said the family had suffered personal injuries arising from their housing conditions including damp and mould and had suffered episodic bouts of chest coughs developed from allergies to household mites caused by the mould.
Mr Lenahan told Judge Linnane that when Ms Maguire took over the tenancy of the maisonette in 2010 there was an implied term that the property would remain fit for habitation.
Ms Maguire (28) alleged part of the living room ceiling had collapsed and that she and her children had suffered deterioration in their respiratory systems.
Dublin City Council claimed it was not negligent and had not breached duty to its tenants.
Mr Lenahan said he was recommending the settlement offers on the basis that, in the event of losing their case at trial, the family could end up with no compensation.
He said the reason for Harrison Maguire's damages being €2,000 higher than his siblings was that he was born in 2011 after the family had moved into the house and it could not have been shown that any contribution to his ill health had been caused having lived elsewhere.
Judge Linnane struck out Ms Maguire's personal claim which had been settled. Terms of her settlement were not publicly divulged in court.