A six-year-old boy was savagely attacked by a Jack Russell terrier and left with facial scarring and has now been awarded just over €100,000 at the High Court in Cork.
John O’Mahony, counsel for the young plaintiff, told the court yesterday: “Very simply, what happened here is he was attacked by a Jack Russell dog, very frighteningly so. Thanks be to God he has improved tremendously.
“There were two aspects to this, the attack by the dog and the hospital procedures which were frightening in themselves for a six-and-a-half-year-old boy.”
Mr O’Mahony said the scarring on Luke Daly Smith’s face is healing well.
“Luke has made his peace with dogs,” Mr O’Mahony said.
Mr Justice Michael Hanna quipped: “Has he made peace with doctors as well?”
The injured party is now in third class in primary school, socialising well, playing hurling and football, and is developing an interest in acting and theatre.
This case was brought before Mr Justice Hanna last year and the judge had some concerns about approving it at that stage and required further updated reports on the boy’s progress.
The judge said he was prepared to approve the settlement offer yesterday, particularly when the plaintiff’s mother, Theresa Daly, indicated that she was happy with the €105,000, offered.
Of that, €3,000 was paid out in respect of special damages and the remaining €102,000 was lodged in court until the nine-year-old plaintiff reaches the age of 18.
Mr Justice Hanna said: “He has been through a lot. It is a difficult case. I think it was prudent to wait. I am happy to approve the settlement. That is it. The ordeal is over.”
The judge said he hopes that €1,000 of the special damages will be used for a treat for the plaintiff —“something to help him get over this very very nasty trauma”.
The incident at the centre of the case occurred on September 3, 2014, when the plaintiff was six.
Luke Daly Smith brought the action through his mother, Theresa Daly of Larchfield, Commons Rd, Cork City, against the owners of the dog, Michael and Tracey Shine, who live at another address at Larchfield.
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