Thursday 19 April 2018

Boy awarded €50k after suffering night terrors following dishwasher fire

Tim Healy

A BOY who suffered night terrors and nightmares after a fire involving a dishwasher broke out at his home has been awarded some €50,000 damages at the High Court.

Mr Justice Bernard Barton said Aaron Monds, now aged 14, suffered psychological injuries as a result of the fire at his home five years ago and had night terrors including nightmares about fire and burning.

The boy, who has a mild intellectual disability, developed an irrational fear of recurrence of a fire but made significant progress after therapy, the judge noted.

At one stage the boy had symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder including checking and re-checking electrical appliances were switched off and unplugged in the house.

Aaron, through his father Henry Monds, Blatinoran, Kinnegad, Co Westmeath, had sued Indesit Company UK Ltd arising from a fire in his home involving a Hotpoint dishwasher on June 26th, 2010. Liability was conceded in the case.

Evidence was given in court that the family home was badly damaged, the judge said. The Monds' four children had been in bed when the fire broke out but they and their parents managed to get out.

Henry Monds had gone back into the house at one stage to see if he could put out the fire, the judge said. The family did not return to the family home until spring of 2011 after work had been carried out at their house.

Awarding a total of £51,244, Mr Justice Barton said there can be little doubt Aaron was distressed as a result of what happened and his nightmares and night terrors were a symptom of his anxiety.

His habit of checking electrical appliances were off was initially pronounced but he had made significant progress with therapy, the judge said.

The boy's symptoms are now such that he would no longer qualify for diagnosis with obsessive compulsive disorder but he still has a tendency to worry about the possibility of a fire at night time, the judge said.

He accepted the medical evidence these were residual symptoms of a post traumatic stress disorder consequent upon the fire in his home, the judge said.

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