Saturday 10 December 2016

Girl (5) awarded €55k after she fell and struck her head against wall in creche

Saurya Cherfi

Published 17/02/2016 | 15:22

L-R: Solicitor Caoimhe Haughey with Seamus Reilly, of Swan View, Dublin Road, Navan, Co Meath pictured leaving the Four Courts after the approval of a settlement offer in a Circuit Civil Court action taken by him on behalf of his daughter, Ruth.Pic: Courts Collins
L-R: Solicitor Caoimhe Haughey with Seamus Reilly, of Swan View, Dublin Road, Navan, Co Meath pictured leaving the Four Courts after the approval of a settlement offer in a Circuit Civil Court action taken by him on behalf of his daughter, Ruth.Pic: Courts Collins

A five-year-old girl, who will be scarred for life after she struck her head against a wall in a creche, was today awarded €55,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court.

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Barrister Robert Crowley told the court that Ruth Reilly had been left unattended at Giraffe Childcare Creche, Athlumney Wood, Johnstown, Navan, Co Meath, in October 2013 when she fell and struck her head.

Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard that Ruth, who was two-years-old at the time, suffered a deep laceration and had been bleeding heavily.

The court was told an ambulance was called and after her wound was dressed on site, Ruth was taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, Co Louth, where it was stitched.

Ruth’s mother, Angela Reilly, said the wound had left a visible and permanent scar on her daughter’s forehead, and she was very conscious of it.

Through her father Seamus Reilly, of Swan View, Dublin Road, Navan, Co Meath, Ruth sued Giraffe Childcare Ltd, with a registered address at Adamstown Avenue, Castlegate, Adamstown, Lucan, Co Dublin, for negligence.

Mr Crowley, who appeared with CM Haughey solicitors for Ruth, told the court that liability had been admitted by the creche.

Hearing that Ruth will be scarred for life, Judge Groarke today refused to approve a €40,000 settlement offer by the defendant as he felt that it would not be enough to compensate her. The matter then proceeded as an assessment of the damages only.

Judge Groarke, awarding Ruth €55,000 damages, said her scar was nasty and noticeable at a conversational distance.

He said that although he was not criticising the way the defendant had handled the case, in his view the €40,000 settlement offer did not meet the full value of the case. 

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