Sunday 23 July 2017

Woman attacked by neighbour's 'mischievous' cat settles case for damages

Maureen O Hagan, of Elton Park, Sandycove, Dublin pictured leaving the Four Courts after she settled her High Court action for damages. Pic: Collins Courts
Maureen O Hagan, of Elton Park, Sandycove, Dublin pictured leaving the Four Courts after she settled her High Court action for damages. Pic: Collins Courts

Aodhan O'Faolain

A WOMAN who sued over an attack by her neighbour's cat has settled her High Court action for damages against them.

Charity co-ordinator Maureen O'Hagan said she was attacked when she attempted to shoo the black cat out of her south Dublin home in the early hours one morning.

Ms O'Hagan (59) of Moyallen, Elton Park, Sandycove, sued her next door neighbours, Marty and Diane Olson, for negligence and breach of duty and nuisance in the control, care and supervision of their cat.

She claimed the cat had a mischievous and abnormal nature which she alleged the Olsons knew about.

The case, which was before the court for assessment of damages only, was settled following talks on Thursday.

Her counsel, Noel MacMahon, told the court she suffered four nasty lacerations to her hand after the cat grabbed it.

Maureen O Hagan, of Elton Park, Sandycove, Dublin pictured leaving the Four Courts yesterday(Thurs) after she settled her HIgh Court action for damages. Pic: Collins Courts
Maureen O Hagan, of Elton Park, Sandycove, Dublin pictured leaving the Four Courts yesterday(Thurs) after she settled her HIgh Court action for damages. Pic: Collins Courts

The cuts later became infected and she required a procedure under local anaesthetic where an infected wound was washed out and repaired.

Mr McMahon said Ms O'Hagan had discovered the Olson's cat after it entered her home at 3am on October 5, 2015 and she tried to shoo it away.

The animal jumped on her and bit her on the right hand, index finger and knuckle joint.

It was claimed the Olsons failed to control the cat adequately or at all and caused or permitted the cat to bite Ms O'Hagan.

It was further alleged the Olsons failed to heed the complaints  previously made by Ms O'Hagan about the cat's vicious and dangerous propensity,

It was claimed Ms O'Hagan had previously witnessed the cat acting aggressively on her property on a number of previous occasions.

Ms O'Hagan further claimed the Olsons failed to keep the cat away as they had previously said they would try to do and allowed the cat to roam freely and enter Ms O'Hagan's property when they knew or ought to have known that it was a cause of concern.

There was also an alleged failure to have the cat properly trained or to keep it muzzled.

Ms O Hagan attended her doctor and was prescribed oral antibiotics but it was claimed her hand failed to respond and deteriorated on the second day on antibiotics.

She was referred to the emergency department of Blackrock Clinic and the Acute Plastics Trauma Unit for further management.

It was noted she had four bite wounds on her right hand  but the main concern was a penetrating  bite on her right index finger.

The infected wound had to be washed out and repaired under local anaesthetic.

It was claimed Ms O'Hagan complains of residual pain, swelling and redness on her right hand  and had to have six sessions of physiotherapy afterwards. She also said she has been left with a scar.

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