Wednesday 21 February 2018

Woman awarded €65,000 after hot water bottle split open in bed

A WOMAN has been awarded €65,000 after a court heard she cannot wear high heels because a hot water bottle split open in her bed burning her.

Ann Marie McGee, Meenlaragh, Letterkenny, was 15 years old when the accident occurred ten years ago in her Donegal home.

The award was against the distributor of the hot water bottle.

She told the High Court today she still cannot wear high heels and had to give up playing football and could not sit her mock Junior Cert exams immediately after the accident.

"It was very painful. I had to keep my foot in a basin of cold water all night," Ms Ms Gee said. She told the court she had to go to hospital and the skin on her left foot had bubbled up. She later developed septicaemia on the foot and could not wear socks or shoes for two months after the incident.

Ms McGee said she has been left with a permanent scar and is conscious of it.

" I still can't wear heels. The rim of the shoe catches on the burn," she said.

When the case was called before Ms Justice Mary Irvine, Richard Lyons SC for Ms McGee, said she had settled her case against Siopa Niall Ruaidh Teoranta trading as Mace Supermarket, Gortahork, Letterkenny, Co Donegal.

The matter before the court was now against wholesale distributor, Peter McCallig trading as McCallig Brothers at Mount Street, Claremorris, Co Mayo for assessment of damages only, counsel said.

Proceedings against the importer and supplier of the hot water bottle could be struck out, he said.

It was claimed that Ms McGee's mother bought the hot water bottle in December 2001. On February 4, 2002, Ms McGee, it was claimed, placed the bottle in her bed. She got in to bed and placed her left foot beneath the bottle which spilt and the contents poured on to her foot.

It was claimed the accident occurred through the negligence and breach of duty of the defendants.

The defendants denied the claims.

Ms Justice Irvine, who examined the scar on ms McGee's foot in her private chambers said the young woman had suffered excruciating pain when the hot water bottle split open.

After the accident, the Judge said, Ms McGee had a very bad three months in which she also developed septicaemia. The scar was permanent and while it was not terribly obvious, the judge accepted Ms McGee's concerns about it. Ms McGee she said was also limited as regards the foot wear she could wear.

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