Cork girl impaled on construction site railings settles High Court action

Girl was 10 years of age when she climbed the construction site wall and railings near her home, so she could take a shortcut
Cork girl impaled on construction site railings settles High Court action

A young girl who hurt her arm when it became impaled on railing spikes as she climbed a construction site wall has settled her High Court action for €75,000.

Megan Cara Austin from Carrigaline, Co Cork was 10 years of age when she climbed the construction site wall and railings near her home, so she could take a shortcut.

Megan now aged 15 years of Castleheights, Kilmoney. Carrigaline, Co Cork had through her grandmother Aine Wrenne sued construction company Hallmark Building Contractor Ltd with offices at Mallow Business Park, Gouldshill, Mallow, Co Cork, NAMA and developer John Barry and his wife Elaine of Barnet, Hertfordshire, England.

It was claimed the girl was climbing the wall and railings at the entrance to the Castlelands construction site adjacent to her home on January 5th, 2016 when her left foot slipped and her left arm became impaled in the spikes at the top of the railing.

It was claimed there was an alleged failure to anticipate that the fence and the spikes would cause the type of injury which the little girl suffered. It was further claimed there was an alleged failure to cordon off the area and an alleged failure to take account that the area was used as a shortcut by member s of the public and in particular children.

The claims were denied.

PIAB recommendation

The little girl suffered a skin flap laceration measuring 10cms long to the middle of her left arm . She was brought to Cork University Hospital where she was transferred to theatre to have the wound washed out and repaired. There was no underlying structural injury, but the girl is left with a permanent scar.

Sinead Behan BL for the little girl and instructed by Deborah Moore solicitor told the court the Personal Injuries Assessment Board had recommended an award of €91, 500 but this had been rejected as at the time it had been thought that the child may require further treatment.

Counsel said liability was an issue in the case and alleged contributory negligence may also be an issue.

Approving the €75,000 settlement Mr Justice Garrett Simons said the girl had suffered a laceration when she climbed the wall and railings to take a shortcut

He said there were difficulties in terms of liability in the case, and he noted there was a risk that if the case went to trial, alleged contributory negligence could be assessed at 50 per cent on the child’s part.

The judge said the offer before the court was a very good one.

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