Boy who had two teeth broken playing on cruise shop awarded €60k
AN 11-year-old schoolboy, who suffered two broken front teeth while playing dodgeball on a cruise ship, has been awarded €60,000 personal injury damages, the maximum Circuit Civil Court award.
Barrister Deidre Byrne told the court that Charles Parsons was in January 2014 on a 10-day cruise holiday to Port of Civitavecchia, Rome, on the ‘Norwegian Jade’ ship, when the incident happened.
The court heard that Charles had been playing the ball game, under staff supervision, in the Kids Zone of the ship. He had been told to throw himself on a large rolling ball, belly first.
Ms Byrne, who appeared with Aylmer & Co solicitors, said that as he did so, Charles, who was nine years old at the time, bounced off the ball and landed on the hard floor, on his face.
Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard that Charles had been bleeding and extremely upset, and was examined by the ship doctor.
He had suffered two broken teeth which have needed to be restored. Ms Byrne said ongoing issues with Charles’ teeth could not be dealt with permanently until he is 16-years-old. Over the last two years, Charles’ teeth had needed to be restored several times.
The court heard that Charles was a promising young rugby player who was playing with his school at the top level at the time. Following the incident, he had to play in the school’s lower division team during practice sessions only and he now needs to wear a dental guard.
Ms Byrne said Charles was initially conscious of his broken teeth but was now able to better deal with the issue.
Through his mother Eimear Collins, of Churchview Road, Killiney, Co Dublin, Charles sued holiday package provider NCL (Bahamas) Limited, with an address in London.
He claimed that he had not been supervised properly by the defendant which had failed to ensure the game was played on protective matting. He also alleged the staff running the Kids Zone had not been professionally trained in childcare or certified in First Aid.
Ms Byrne told the court that liability had been admitted in the case and the defendant had made a €54,000 damages offer, which included €26,000 for Charles’ future dental treatments.
Judge Groarke said he feared the offer was not enough as Charles would need considerable treatment over the next five years. The judge said he would be more confident if the offer reached the maximum €60,000 award of the Circuit Civil Court jurisdiction.
Following a brief adjournment, Ms Byrne said that “a few calls were made in London” and the defendant had agreed to increase the offer.
Judge Groarke complimented the parties and approved a €60,000 settlement offer, which is an early double gift for Charles, who was born on Christmas day