A SENIOR judge said that he believed that "bouncy castles were created by lawyers and supervised by barristers".
Circuit Court president Mr Justice Raymond Groarke made the comment at the outset of a case where he approved a €6,624 award for a seven-year-old girl who lost a front tooth in a bouncy castle accident at a Shannon Development-owned visitor attraction in 2010.
In opening remarks at Ennis Circuit Court, Mr Justice Groarke said: "I think myself that bouncy castles were created by lawyers and supervised by barristers. It does seem to me that they seem to be extraordinarily common grounds for difficulty.
"What always astonishes me is having seen children on these bouncy castles, they are terrifying. How they don't come out with broken noses and broken teeth and everything else – it is quite astonishing."
Aimee Turner of Kilmore, Limerick, was suing through her mother, Rachel Cross.
Their counsel, Philip Moloney, said Aimee was attending an egg hunt at the Craggaunowen award-winning prehistoric visitor attraction in Clare in April 2010 when Aimee was aged four-and-a-half.
In the incident, Aimee was on a bouncy castle where she was struck on the left side of her mouth, traumatising her upper left central baby incisor tooth.
Two older girls were supervising the bouncy castle but they had moved away from it at the time Aimee was struck.
Aimee attended her dentist, Dr Eamonn Noonan, within three days of the incident and her front tooth had become discoloured due to the trauma suffered. She was then referred to consultant maxillofacial surgeon Michael Kilbride, who extracted the tooth.
Aimee was subsequently examined by Dr Eamon Murphy who found that the discolouration was caused by bleeding into the crown of the tooth that was secondary to the trauma. Dr Murphy said the tooth was extracted one-and-a-half years early, adding that there did not seem to be any permanent damage to her teeth.
"It was a baby tooth, and it is not likely that there will have been permanent damage," said the judge. He approved the award of €6,624 including fees, expenses and general damages of €5,000.