Thursday 18 January 2018

Judge dismisses €38k claim of mum whose child (2) trapped her finger in lid of sugar dispenser

Saurya Cherfi

A judge, dismissing a €38,000 damages claim on behalf of a child (2) who trapped her little finger in the lid of a sugar dispenser in a restaurant, stated that: “Common sense must prevail.”

Judge Jacqueline Linnane said in the Circuit Civil Court that although the accident in an Eddie Rocket’s diner two years ago was unfortunate, it could not have been foreseeable.

She heard that Robyn Behan, now aged four, was having a meal with her family at Eddie Rockets in Blandcharstown Shopping Centre, Dublin, in September 2011 when she stuck her finger in a hole in the lid of the dispenser.

Her mother, Vanessa Behan, of The Richmond, North Brunswick Street, Dublin, told the court that when Robyn trapped her finger in the lid, restaurant staff had used butter to remove it and then tried to release it under running cold water.

Ms Behan told James McArdle, counsel for Eddie Rocket’s, that neither rescue operation had succeeded and the lid had been cutting into Robyn’s right hand little finger “like a blade.”

Staff suggested she take Robyn to Temple Street Children’s Hospital, Dublin, where an initial attempt to release the finger, using Vaseline, had been unsuccessful.

Ms Behan said Robyn had then been brought to the operating theatre and had been given morphine through a drip to ease her pain. Her finger had ultimately been released when the lid was cut through using a pliers.

Robyn, through her mother, sued Eddie Rocket’s, which has its registered office at St Anne Street, Dublin, for negligence.

Mr McArdle said it had been an unfortunate accident the like of which had never happened before and the restaurant denied negligence and any breach of its duty of care.

Judge Linnane said no negligence on the part of the restaurant had been shown to the court.  No-one could have foreseen such an incident and she  dismissed the claim, awarding the restaurant its legal costs against Robyn’s mother.

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