Girl awarded €55,000 compensation for a scar injury in a creche accident

May, 30 – 2016

A five-year-old girl was awarded €55,000  compensation for a scar injury in a crèche accident after a judge rejected the initial proposed settlement.

In October 2013, Ruth Reilly was left unattended at the Giraffe Childcare Crèche in Navan, County Meath, when she fell and struck her head against a wall. Ruth, who was just two years of age at the time, was treated for a head wound at the site before being taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, where stitches were applied.

The injury has left Ruth with a permanent and visible scar on her forehead and, on his daughter´s behalf, Seamus Reilly claimed compensation for a scar injury in a crèche accident. Liability for Ruth´s accident and injury was admitted by the crèche, and a settlement of €40,000 was agreed. However, as the claim had been made on behalf of a child, the settlement had to first be approved by a judge before the claim could be resolved.

Consequently, at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, the circumstances of Ruth´s accident were related to Mr Justice Raymond Groarke. Judge Groarke heard how Ruth suffered a deep laceration on her forehead and was bleeding heavily after her accident. The judge was also told by Ruth´s mother that, despite her tender age, the five-year-old girl is very conscious of the scar that remains.

After considering the visibility of Ruth´s scar, Judge Groarke said that the offer of €40,000 compensation for a scar accident in a crèche injury was insufficient. The judge said that the scar was “nasty and noticeable at a conversational distance”, and he increased the settlement of the claim to €55,000 – commenting that he was not criticising the way in which the defendant had handled the case, but €40,000 did not reflect the full value of Ruth´s injury.

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