A High Court judge has approved a settlement of compensation for a young girl who was the victim of a vicious dog attack while playing in the street with friends and family.
In December 2011, Lauren Kelly (nine years old at the time of the incident) of County Longford was playing with her family in the street when she came across a dog that had escaped from its home. The dog-a Rottweiler-then jumped up and bit Lauren. The young girl’s mother and fiends attempted to release the dog’s bite on her, but before they could do so, Lauren suffered multiple injuries to her right arm. Lauren was immediately transported to hospital, where her injuries were treated by medical staff. She had to undergo a skin graft, which left her with severe scarring to her arm.
On behalf of his daughter, Michael Kelly sought legal advice and made a claim for compensation for a dog bite injury. He claimed that the animal’s owner had been negligent, thus allowing the dog to escape and attack his daughter. William Crawford-the dog’s owner-admitted liability. The parties negotiated a settlement of €150,000 for Lauren as compensation.
As Lauren was a minor, the settlement had to be approved on her behalf by a judge in court. The case was heard in the High Court in Dublin by Mr Justice Kevin Cross. As evidence, the judge was told how the dog tossed Lauren like a rag doll, and the experience caused Lauren to suffer severe nightmares. He was also told how Lauren must now wear a protective sleeve on her right arm while swimming, to prevent infection to the area.
The judge approved the settlement of compensation that had previously been negotiated. The money shall be held in an interest-bearing account at the court until Lauren is of age to access it herself. Until then, her parents will be able to access the money should it be required to fund further medical attention to deal with consequences of the attack.