Thursday 14 December 2017

Judge questions €10k settlement offer for child whose eyebrow hair growth might be affected by scar

Child injured when a Dublin Bus driver was forced to jam on the brakes

Stock photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Stock photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Ray Managh

The effect of a mild scar on the growth pattern of hair on a four-year-old child’s eyebrow later in life, has led to a judge questioning the adequacy of a €10,000 settlement offer by dual defendants.

Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke said he was not enthusiastic about approving the offer because of how “the noticeable mark” might possibly change hair growth into the future.

Barrister John Ferry, counsel for Hadar Amara, whose eye brow was injured in a bus when she was only 22 months old, told the Circuit Civil Court the bus driver had to slam on his brakes when an unmarked garda car suddenly pulled out in front of him.

Mr Ferry, who appeared with Anthony Joyce solicitors, said Hadar, whose family lives at Reilly’s Avenue, South Circular Road, Dublin, was seated in her buggy on the bus when the incident happened.

He said Hadar had been thrown forward and her forehead had struck an upright support on the lower deck of the bus.  A garda car, without warning, had pulled into the bus lane on the quays in Dublin and the driver had been forced to brake suddenly to avoid a collision.

Hadar’s mother, Kiera Sa Fou, told the court in an affidavit that her child had been taken to Temple Street Children’s Hospital where a cut on her eyebrow had been cleaned and sealed with seristrips before she was discharged.  Hadar had developed a fear about being put in her buggy and had later been seen by her GP in relation to a soft tissue facial injury.

Mr Ferry told the court that Hadar’s injuries had since healed but that she had been left with a mark which was almost invisible. Through her mother she had sued Dublin Bus and the Garda Commissioner.

Judge Groarke, after examining Hadar’s eyebrow, said the mark was still there and visible and it was difficult to say she had made a full recovery.

“I can see the mark even though it is slight but we do not know how it may interfere with the growth of hair on Hadar’s eyebrow in later life,” Judge Groarke said.

He adjourned the application, seeking the court’s approval of a €10,000 offer, for six weeks and said that in the meantime a medical report specific to the mark on Hadar’s eyebrow should be obtained.

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