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High Court judge to accept €7,500 payout for boy’s injury, if scar is minor

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A €7,500 settlement of a claim over a boy's lip injury allegedly caused when he tripped on a ripple in a floor mat in a restaurant will be approved if a High Court judge is satisfied the scar left on his lip is minor.

Evan Davis was aged three when he fell in the Subway fast food restaurant in Carrickmines Retail Park, Dublin, on September 5, 2017.

Through his mother Sinéad Davis, The Cubes 8, Beacon South Quarter, Sandyford , Dublin, he sued restaurant operators. Beacon Mart Ltd, in the Circuit Court alleging negligence. The claims were denied.

The Circuit Court dismissed the case last year following a hearing and an appeal was lodged in the High Court.

It was alleged the restaurant was negligent because the boy tripped on a ripple that had been left in the mat. The family had been leaving the restaurant when the child's father took a phone call and the boy started running after his sister who had just gone through the door ahead of him, his counsel Eileen McAuley told the High Court on Wednesday.

There was a rippling in the floor mat at the door and the boy tripped on it and fell heavily striking his mouth/chin area on a sharp beading at the base of the partly open door, it was claimed. He suffered a one centimetre laceration between his lower lip and chin and was later treated in hospital.

Ms McAuley told Mr Justice Charles Meenan the matter had been settled on the basis of a payment of €7,500, plus District Court costs plus a side agreement that the plaintiff's engineer's costs will also be paid.

Ms McAuley said it had been decided to accept the offer at this stage because if it went for hearing in the High Court there would be a clear dispute between the engineers for each side.

The engineer for the child's side had, following the Circuit Court decision, obtained enhanced stills of the restaurant's CCTV recording of the accident which he said showed the boy tripped on the mat. The defendant's engineer however still maintained, as he had in the Circuit Court, the boy did not trip until he was off the mat and he fell when he was faced with a closing door, she said.

Ms McAuley had valued the claim at €25,000 but having looked at it and given that a minor scar has been left, there was a risk, because of the engineering evidence dispute, that the client would be left with nothing if the appeal went ahead as had occurred in the Circuit Court.

The parents had said they were also happy with the offer.

Mr Justice Meenan said before approving the settlement, he would like to see the scar. He adjourned the matter to next week for the child and one of his parents to attend court.

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