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Schoolgirl whose earlobe split weeks after piercing gets €22,000

A SIX-YEAR-OLD schoolgirl’s right ear lobe split only a month after having her ears pierced as a birthday present, a court was told today.

Judge Matthew Deery in the Circuit Civil Court approved a settlement offer of €22,000 to Nicole Smyth, now aged 11, of Elm Drive, Elm Wood, Lucan, Co Dublin.

Barrister John P. Kehoe told the court that the offer, together with legal costs, had been made by the defendant, Claires Accessories UK Limited, Liffey Valley Shopping Centre, Lucan.

Mr Kehoe said Nicole had attended Claires Accessories at Liffey Valley and had her ears pierced on 8th October, 2007 just two months after her sixth birthday.

He said that about a month after the piercing the holes in both earlobes had elongated and finally the stud in her right ear came through a vertical split in the ear lobe.

She had initially attended the Swiftcare Clinic in Dundrum and had been referred to Our Lady’s Hospital, Crumlin, where the split had been repaired under general anaesthesia by David Orr, consultant plastic surgeon.

Mr Kehoe said Nicole had been left with a permanent small scar in her right ear. Doctors considered the piercing to have been far too low on both earlobes which had accounted for the split.

Nicole’s mother, Sarah Smyth, told the court in an affidavit that her daughter had been particularly conscious of the scar on her right earlobe and was reluctant to wear her hair off her ear. She had been distressed because of the scarring.

Judge Deery said Nicole had fully recovered and the €22,000 settlement, which he approved, was a very good outcome for her.