A young girl who sustained a laceration to her face-resulting in a noticeable scar-has received more compensation than initially agreed upon when a judge deemed the proposed settlement to be too low.
In October 2013, Ruth Reilly (now five years of age) was left unattended at the Giraffe Childcare Crèche in Navan, County Meath. While unattended, she fell and struck her head against a wall. Ruth-who was just two years of age at the time of the accident-received first aid 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. On behalf of his daughter, Seamus Reilly sought legal counsel and 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 to ensure that it was in Ruth’s benefit.
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 that staff had found her bleeding heavily after her accident. The judge was also told by Ruth´s mother that the young girl is very conscious of the scar that remains on her head.
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.