Man gets €145,000 for loss of finger in game of five-a-side
A 23-year-old man who had to have most of his middle finger amputated following an accident during a five-a-side football match has been awarded €145,000 by the High Court.
Dylan Massey suffered a "catastrophic degloving injury" to the finger on his right hand while retrieving a ball that had become stuck in netting at the side of an astro turf pitch.
A ring on the finger became caught in a part of the fencing holding the netting, causing the injury.
Mr Massey, of Woodgrove, Ballivor, Co Meath, had sued Longwood GAA Club in Co Meath as a result of the accident on August 5, 2014.
The club argued it had signs up to the pitch at the entry gates advising no jewellery or rings should be worn.
Mr Massey claimed that he had suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and pain since the incident. He said that he also had a 16pc loss of function in his right hand.
The judge said Mr Massey had hoped to be selected for the Meath Gaelic football team at the time of the accident and it would appear he had a realistic chance of making the team.
The award of damages must take account of the fact that as a result of the accident, he had been deprived of the ability to participate in sports to the level he had been prior to the accident, the judge said.
He assessed general damages for pain and suffering to date at €65,000, together with future general damages of €60,000 and €20,000 for loss of opportunity.
The accident, the judge said, occurred towards the end of the five-a-side game when Mr Massey tried to dislodge a ball that had become stuck between the top of the surrounding fence and the netting which was above the fence.
With the assistance of two friends, Mr Massey was lifted up to dislodge the ball. It was while descending that the ring on his finger became caught in part of the fencing.
Mr Justice Barr found as fact the club failed in its duty of care as an occupier of the property to maintain the ball stop netting in a safe and proper condition and in particular in the failure to ensure the netting did not become slack over time.
The court had heard that since the accident, Mr Massey was unable to grip either a hurley or a racket.
He has not been able to return to playing Gaelic football.