Thursday 24 January 2019

€6,000 for toddler who drank water with earwig in it

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Ray Managh

A 15-month-old toddler, who drank from a water bottle which allegedly contained an earwig, was awarded almost €6,000 in damages in the Circuit Civil Court for personal injuries.

John Ferry, counsel for Hazel Tyrell, now aged three, of Ashfield Rise, Balbriggan, Co Dublin, told Judge Terence O'Sullivan that on December 17, 2015, Hazel's mother, Colette Tyrell, had bought a number of bottles of water at SuperValu in Balbriggan, Co Dublin.

Mr Ferry said the water was in a plastic bottle bearing the details 'SuperValu Kids' Water, Pure Irish Water, 250ml'. Later that day, Ms Tyrell gave Hazel one of the bottles.

After Hazel drank some of the water, her mother noticed something floating inside the bottle and on closer inspection found an earwig.

Defendants Musgrave Group, Ballycurreen, Airport Road, Cork, and Munster Soft Drinks, Shelton Business Park, Ballyneety, Co Limerick, had entered full defences to the claim that the water had been contaminated and unacceptable for human consumption.

Ms Tyrell, in a sworn statement, said that two days after drinking the water her daughter developed a swollen eyelid and spots on her body behind her neck, ears, tummy and legs. She was unwell for a few days and was seen in the Emergency Department of Drogheda Hospital.

She was told it was likely her daughter had suffered a mild allergic reaction and the symptoms had resolved over 24 hours.

Ms Tyrell stated that the material found in the water had been examined by the HSE's Public Analyst's Laboratory and it had been found that the insect was an earwig.

Mr Ferry told the court that a settlement offer of €5,000 had been made in the case and, together with €956 expenses, he was recommending acceptance of the offer to the court.

He said the defendants had strenuously denied negligence or liability in the case and he felt it would be best to recommend acceptance of the offer together with District Court costs.

Irish Independent

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