Tuesday 12 December 2017

I won’t fight ‘finger case’ court ruling says mum

Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

A MOTHER who failed in an attempt to sue Eddie Rocket’s after her daughter got a finger stuck in a sugar dispenser will not challenge the ruling.

Vanessa Behan said while she was is disappointed with the result from the High Court, her daughter Robyn is looking forward to Christmas.

Last week, the court decided against granting compensation for the injury to Ms Behan’s daughter Robyn.

Robyn was two years and 11 months when she got her finger stuck in an 8mm hole at the top of the dispenser while out for a family meal in Eddie Rocket's restaurant, Blanchardstown, Dublin, in September 2011.

After attempts to free the finger failed, Robyn’s mother brought her to Temple Street Children's Hospital where the lid was cut off.

The judge in the case, Mr Justice Kearns, said he had examined Robyn's finger and found her a delightful little girl.

However, he said it was a case of “compensation culture gone mad” and awarded costs against Ms Behan.

“I thought it was a bit unfair that she didn’t get anything,” Ms Behan said. “She still has a scar on her finger but she’s alright now.”

“I don’t plan to challenge it, no,” she told the Herald.

Ms Behan said that Robyn was now getting ready for Christmas. “She’s looking forward to it,” she added.

Robyn sued the fast food chain through her mother Vanessa, of North Brunswick Street, Dublin.

The court heard efforts by restaurant staff to remove the metal lid from the toddler's finger with soap and other lubricants failed.

The little girl was left with a laceration to the bottom of her finger.

An engineer who gave evidence on behalf of Ms Behan said the dispenser did not comply with EU safety regulations in relation to hazards posed by utensils for children.

The hole in question had “a fish hook effect” once a small finger was inserted, it was claimed. But an engineer for the restaurant disputed this and said there were no regulations relating specifically to sugar dispensers.

The judge awarded costs of both the High Court and Circuit Court cases against Ms Behan.

hnews@herald.ie

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