€61,000 ‘not enough’ for girl after gate fell on her

A judge said a €61,000 settlement offer would not be enough to compensate a nine-year-old schoolgirl who broke her leg when a gate in Dublin’s inner city collapsed on her three years ago.

€61,000 ‘not enough’ for girl after gate fell on her

Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke said he was not convinced the figure, which comprised €45,000 for pain and suffering, €15,000 for future medical treatments and €1,000 for fees and expenses, would “meet the situation”.

The judge said in the Circuit Civil Court that Sophie Gannon would need to undergo several sessions of surgical procedures to try to improve the contour deformity of scars on her left leg.

Barrister George Maguire told the court that in November 2011, Sophie had been playing with friends near the entrance gate to her home at North Clarence Street Flats, Summerhill, Dublin, when the accident happened.

Sophie, who was six at the time, had climbed onto the heavy metal gate when it came off its hinges and fell on her.

The court heard that she struck her head on the ground and remained pinned beneath the gate until the emergency services arrived .

She was taken to the emergency department of Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street in Dublin, where X-rays revealed a fracture of her left femur, which had to be operated on. She also suffered a deep cut to her thigh.

Judge Groarke heard she had made a good recovery but the wounds had left several scars on her leg.

Through her father, Colin McHugh, she sued Dublin City Council for negligence and breach of duty.

Mr Maguire told the court following settlement negotiations last November, Dublin City Council had made a €61,000 offer. The judge said he feared the figure would not be enough and adjourned to later this month to allow talks between the parties.

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