Friday 21 October 2016

Baby awarded more than €17,000 damages against designer label Ralph Lauren after thighs scarred by pants

Ray Managh

Published 23/02/2016 | 14:00

Photo: Getty
Photo: Getty

A young child, whose thighs were allegedly scarred because of overly thick elastic in a baby pants, was today awarded more than €17,000 damages against designer label Ralph Lauren.

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Barrister Fiona Crawford, counsel for the child, told the Circuit Civil Court the pants had been bought by a friend in Brown Thomas’s Dublin store as a present for her following her birth.

It was while she was on holidays 10 weeks later with her parents, that she had been dressed in the new pink outfit, a dress and pants combination, in which she had become very agitated after several hours.

Ms Crawford, who appeared with Patrick Geaney solicitors for the child and her mum, said that when the child was being prepared for bed that evening her mother noticed red wields on her baby’s outer thighs.

On returning from holiday the mum had brought the child to her GP, who deemed the baby’s injuries as unconnected with any allergic reaction or bruising and referred her to consultant plastic and reconstructive surgeon David O’Donovan.

Ms Crawford told Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, that the child's injuries had been photographed at the time and on several occasions afterwards until their complete disappearance after two-and-a-half-years.

She said Professor Julian Ellis, a Nottinghamshire expert in the technology of elastic fabrics, had forensically examined the pants in early 2012 and found the elastic used had been twice as powerful as he would recommend even for an adult.

Prof Ellis said the Ralph Loren New York brand had been stitched into the garments which had been made in China and had been labelled as suitable for a three to six months old girl.

Ms Crawford told the court that plastic surgeon O’Donovan had found residual scarring on the child's outer thighs “secondary to a tight constriction band in the area where an elasticated baby-grow might fit against a baby’s skin.”

She said his report noted that the only treatment required for the injuries had been massage with Bio oil by the baby’s mother.  Three years after the incident the surgeon noted there were no marks and no need for any treatment.

Ms Crawford said the defendants, Ralph Lauren Ireland Limited, had delivered a full defence to the claim and liability was in issue.  A settlement offer of €17,500 had been made and she was recommending the court approve it.

She told the court the child's skin, while significantly marked, had never been broken and there had never been any weeping of the wounds.  Judge Groarke approved the offer and awarded the child and her mum their legal costs.

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