Tuesday 20 August 2019

Judge rules that €25k payout for boy (5) who split eyebrow at creché is inadequate

Tallaght Hospital
Tallaght Hospital

Ray Managh

A judge has turned down as inadequate a €25,000 settlement offer to a five-year-old boy who lacerated one of his eyebrows in a fall at a Co Dublin crèche.

Samantha Cruess Callaghan, counsel for the young boy, told the Circuit Civil Court that he, when aged two, fell while washing his hands in Wee Care Limited’s crèche.

Ms Cruess Callaghan, who appeared with Rose Sweeney of Coleman Legal Partners, said the boy had to stand on an unsteady stool to wash his hands in the bathroom.

“The stool wobbled and he fell, striking his head quite forcibly against the toilet bowl,” Ms Cruess Callaghan told Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke.

She said he lacerated his left eyebrow and had been left with a horizontal mark on it. 

He had been taken to Tallaght Hospital and then to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin where his injury had been assessed by Consultant Plastic Surgeon Mr David J.A. Orr.

Surgery under general anaesthetic had been ruled out as necessary and his wound had been closed by means of adhesive tape.  He had been reviewed on three occasions before it was deemed his scar had healed satisfactorily.

Ms Cruess Callaghan said the young boy, who sued through his father, had been left with an almost inch long scar just above the middle of his left eyebrow which, although visible at conversation distance, was not grossly disfiguring.

Judge Groarke, having been told the Personal Injuries Board had assessed damages at €25,000, said on close examination of the mark on the boy's eyebrow that he would not be happy to approve the proposed settlement offer by Wee Care Limited crèche, Monkstown, Co Dublin.

“What I expected to see after having read the medical reports is very different from what I have seen in court,” Judge Groarke said.

He refused to approve the offer and adjourned the matter for trial before another judge.

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