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Child loses damages action after getting hand caught in school door


Dublin's Four Courts

Dublin's Four Courts

Dublin's Four Courts

A CHILD who got her hand caught in a door in school has lost a High Court action for damages.

Emma Jane Murray(10), Rory O'Connor Park, Abbey, Road, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, through her mother Rachael Murray, sued  Monkstown Educate Together National School in Dublin as a result of the accident where her right middle finger  got caught in a closing classroom fire door on June 10, 2011.

Dismissing the case, the President of the High Court Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns said what happened was unfortunate and "just sheer bad luck".  

The child had  inserted her finger in the hinge side of the  door and it would be " very unfortunate" if the school were to be held negligent, he said.

To impose such standards on schools would mean  children would have to be wrapped in cotton wool, he said.

He said the school was to be congratulated that it has taken additional steps to fit finger guards in the hinge side of the self closing doors later in 2011.

The court heard Emma Jane, who was in senior infants at the time  was second or third in the line to go out of the classroom when  the accident happened.

She suffered a crush injury to her right middle finger and a nail bed injury and a displaced fracture. She also had to have an operation on the finger.

It was claimed there was an alleged failure to keep her at a safe distance from the fire door until it had been properly and safely secured in the open position. The claims were denied.

Dismissing the case Mr Justice Kearns said  Emma Jane was a delightful young girl  who had impressed him in the way she gave her evidence and he was pleased to see she had recovered and could put the nasty experience behind her.

He did not believe the school could be held responsible and Emma Jane had received the best possible care from her teachers.

It was  unfortunate that Emma Jane's legal proceedings had been been started within seven days of the accident, he also said.

The school did not seek its court costs against the Murrays.

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