Sunday 16 June 2019

Child (8) bitten by dog is awarded €75k damages

A girl bitten on the hand by a dog on her way home from school has been awarded damages of €75,000.

The award was made at a sitting of the Circuit Court in Sligo last Wednesday in an approved settlement before Judge Karen Fergus.

The girl, who sued through her father, was left with a 4.1 cm scar to her hand following the bite after she had gone to pet the alsation dog.

She was represented by Mr Peter Daly BL, instructed by Mr Gerard McGovern, solicitor.

The court was told by Mr Daly that the girl, now aged 10, was walking home from school with her sister and friend on May 2nd 2017, when she passed the home of the defendant, Roisin Campbell, Kingsfort, Ballintogher.

As the young girl passed the house an alsation dog jumped up on railings outside the house which were adjacent to the footpath.

In reaction, the girl put her left hand up to cover herself and was bitten on the hand by the dog causing a cut. At the time the girl was walking by herself with her sister and friend about 20 yards in front of her.

The girl was subsequently treated at the Emergency Department of Sligo University Hospital where the wound was cleaned treated with steri stips. She was also given an antibiotic.

She developed an infection in the wound and had to return to the hospital on May 5th where she was admitted for three nights.

She was admitted and the wound was cleaned in theatre under general anaesthetic and stitched. She was put on a stronger dose of antibiotics.

The court was told that the girl was left with an irregular and somewhat prominent scar measuring about 4 cm on the dorsu of her hand between the second and third fingers.

On the palm of her hand she has a pale scar which measures 2.5cm.

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, William Gaine, who treated the plaintiff, in a report furnished to the court stated that while the main scar would become paler over time and not be as noticeable it would still be visible in the longer term.

The court also heard the child had become clingy in the aftermath of the incident, had nightmares and had a developed a fear of dogs.

Mr Daly told the court that an offer of €75,000 was acceptable to the parents of the girl and he was recommending its acceptance.

Judge Fergus approved the settlement of €75,000 and also awarded costs against the defendant.

Sligo Champion