Child left with scar after playground fall settles court action for €70,000

The child, through her mother, sued Dublin City Council, over the accident at the playground at Ranelagh Gardens Park
Child left with scar after playground fall settles court action for €70,000

High Court reporters

A young girl who tripped in a playground and banged her head suffering a laceration on her forehead has settled a High Court action for €70,000.

Judith Byrne was four years old when it is claimed she fell over a black rubber mesh mat which was allegedly protruding from the grass at her local playground.

The little girl, who is now seven, had through her mother, Sarah Byrne, of Alma Court, Ranelagh, sued Dublin City Council over the accident at the playground at Ranelagh Gardens Park, Dublin on September 5th, 2018.

In an affidavit to the court, her mother said Judith, who was at the playground with her father, ran towards a slide but tripped and stumbled forward against the top of the slide due to the black rubber mesh mat.

The little girl she said impacted her head against the edges of the slide and sustained a burst laceration to the left side of her forehead. The laceration had to be repaired in hospital while she was under general anaesthetic.

Her Counsel, Tracey Ennis Faherty BL, told the court the child has been left with a 4cm scar over her eyebrow. Medical reports indicated it was permanent in nature and obvious at a conversational distance but was expected to fade over time.

Counsel said a full defence had been filed in the case.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Garrett Simons noted liability was at issue in the case and Dublin City Council contended an unknown third party had interfered with the mat.

The council also said the playground was regularly inspected, which the judge said was borne out by the documents which came to light in the discovery process of the case.

The judge said the crucial fact was there was a risk in relation to liability of the case. He said it was a good settlement and told Judith’s mother "a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush".

Mr Justice Simons said he had the benefit of three medical report and also inspected the scar which he said was "just about noticeable", but added the little girl appeared to be handling it very well.

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