In the Circuit Civil Court Judge, Matthew Deery approved a settlement offer of €22,000 to Nicole Smyth, now aged 11, from Dublin.
Barrister John P Kehoe told the court that the offer, together with legal costs, had been made by the defendants, Claire’s Accessories UK Limited, of Liffey Valley Shopping Centre, Lucan.
Mr Kehoe said Nicole had attended Claire’s Accessories at Liffey Valley and had her ears pierced on Oct 8, 2007, two months after her sixth birthday.
He said that about a month after the piercing, the holes in both earlobes had elongated and finally the stud in her right ear came through a vertical split in the ear lobe.
She initially attended the Swiftcare Clinic, Dundrum, and was referred to Our Lady’s Hospital, Crumlin, where the split was repaired under general anaesthesia by David Orr, consultant plastic surgeon.
Mr Kehoe said Nicole had been left with a permanent small scar in her right ear. Doctors considered the piercing to have been too low on both earlobes, which had accounted for the split.
Nicole’s mother, Sarah Smyth, told the court in an affidavit that her daughter had been particularly conscious of the scar on her right earlobe and was reluctant to wear her hair off her ear. She had been distressed because of the scarring.
Judge Deery said Nicole had fully recovered and the €22,000 settlement, which he approved, was a very good outcome for her.