Seven-year-old girl bitten by dog awarded €38,000

A seven-year-old girl bitten on the stomach and arm by a dog near her home was awarded €38,000 in compensation at the High Court in Cork yesterday.

Esther Obarisiagbon, who is now nine years old, brought the case through her mother, Joy Obarisiagbon, against the owner of the dog.

Esther was near her home at Bridgetown Close in Castlemartyr, Co Cork, on July 18, 2014, when the incident occurred.

Her senior counsel Dr John O’Mahony told Mr Justice Michael White that Esther was bitten in a number of areas and suffered scarring injuries on her right hand, forearm and elbow, and on her abdomen.

“Initially she was very scarred and there is some residual scarring,” Dr O’Mahony said.

The medical prognosis was very positive in terms of total clearing of the scarring.

Dr O’Mahony said that he and the plaintiff’s solicitor, Gerard O’Flynn had gone through the medical reports very carefully and were recommending acceptance of the settlement offer made in the case by the insurers for the dog owner, Fiona Murphy of Bridgetown Close, Castlemartyr.

The plaintiff’s senior counsel said the injured party had difficulty sleeping in the period immediately after the incident but that these psychological injuries had also healed and she was back sleeping well.

Dr O’Mahony said Esther was afraid of dogs after the accident, but this fear had passed and her concerns now are only with big dogs.

In the course of the outline of the background of the case given in court yesterday, it was not stated what kind of dog was involved in the attack on the plaintiff.

Mr Justice White approved the settlement offer in the case and ordered that it be lodged in court for the benefit of the plaintiff for when she reaches the age of 18.


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