Sunday 18 August 2019

Schoolboy hit with legal bill as 'deflated football' case is dismissed

Ennis court house (File Picture)
Ennis court house (File Picture)

Gordon Deegan

A schoolboy has failed in his personal injury action where he claimed his primary school was negligent in supplying him with a deflated football that caused him to break his wrist during a soccer match.

At Ennis Circuit Court in Co Clare, Judge Gerald Keys dismissed the case by Julius Kroka (14) taken against Ennis Educate Together, Gort Road, Ennis.

Suing through his mother, Julius claimed that kicking the deflated ball during a soccer match with class-mates at break-time on March 14, 2017, caused him to fall. Julius, of Sandfield Hall, Ennis, said that he broke his wrist.

Julius said that the football was between 60pc to 70pc deflated. He was aged 12 at the time and he told the court: "I was falling backwards. My instinct told me to put out my left hand."

In the case, the school put forward evidence that Julius didn't kick the ball at all and that his version of the accident was 'impossible'.

Ennis Educate Together special needs assistant (SNA) Marian Moroney told the court that she was 10 feet from the accident and said that Julius never made contact with the ball.

Ms Moroney told the court: "He went to kick the ball but never connected with the ball and fell over."


She said that there was no problem with the ball and it was used for another game the following day.

Judge Keys said that the written grounds of the case put forward on behalf of the plaintiff are "extraordinary".

He said if the case was to succeed "I think you have to stop playing football altogether in schools".

"The schoolboy lost his balance and when he put his hand out to try to save himself from falling, he broke his wrist. I am afraid that is an accident, these things happen," he said.

Julius's legal team employed a consulting engineer and the school had to employ its own engineer in its defence who argued that the ball could not have been deflated at the time.

Judge Keys awarded costs against the plaintiff. "This is a case where a message has to go out... where some actions are brought there is a risk of costs being awarded against you," he said.

Irish Independent

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