Friday 22 November 2019

Girl (12) who was 'thrown around like a rag doll' in Rottweiler attack settles action for €150,000

Lauren Kelly had 26 puncture wounds after Stephen's Day attack

Mr Justice Cross said Lauren had been left with significant scarring and was seriously traumatised by the incident.
Mr Justice Cross said Lauren had been left with significant scarring and was seriously traumatised by the incident.

A-12-YEAR-old girl who was "thrown around like a rag doll" in an attack by a Rottweiler dog has settled her High Court action for €150,000.

Lauren Kelly suffered injuries to her arm which has left her with significant scarring, the court heard.

Lauren was only nine years of age  when the dog, which was out on the public road, attacked and mauled her as she went "Hunting the Wren" with friends on St Stephen's Day 2011.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told that Lauren's mother Marcella Kelly ran to her daughter's assistance and threw herself on top of the child in an effort to protect her.

The youngster, through her father Michael Kelly, Abbey Court, Abbeylara, Co Longford, sued William Crawford of Cloonaghmore, Abbeylara, Co Longford, who was the owner of the Rottweiler.

It was claimed  the dog was allowed to escape or to stray on to the road in circumstances where he attacked Lauren as she lawfully walked along the road.

It was further claimed  no steps were taken to ensure the  dog could not escape by jumping a wall.

The claims were denied.

Lauren, it was claimed, was bitten on the arm numerous times and the dog continued when when the child's mother tried to protect her.

Lauren was taken to hospital where it was found she had 26 puncture wounds and multiple injuries to her right upper arm from the base of her neck and down her shoulder.

She had to have skin grafts and has been left with more than 20 scars on her right arm.  

William Penrose BL told the court the young girl had been "hunting the wren as children do down the country on St Stephen's Day " when she came upon the dog on the road.

"It was a horrific attack by a vicious dog. She was thrown around like a rag doll and had to spend a month in hospital," counsel said.

The child's mother had intervened and with friends managed to pull the young girl away from the dog, he said.

She had nightmares and a bout of sleep walking after the incident but these have now receded, he said.

Lauren suffered significant scarring to her arm and has to wear a sleeve while swimming.

"She has a small fear of large dogs now," counsel added.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Cross said Lauren had been left with significant scarring and was seriously traumatised by the incident.

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