Judge approves €25k offer to girl who broke both ankles at play centre

Judge approves €25k offer to girl who broke both ankles at play centre

The court heard that Ciara Duffy had been playing on a large floor area of brightly coloured, designated squares covered with foam-like material, which had a mini-trampoline-like effect. File image: Chris Bellew

Judge John O’Connor, in the Circuit Civil Court, has approved a €25,000 settlement offer to a schoolgirl, who, when she was five, fractured both her ankles while participating in a jump-around at a play centre.

Barrister Kevin D'Arcy told the court that Ciara Duffy, who is now aged eight, had been playing on a large floor area of brightly coloured, designated squares covered with foam-like material, which had a mini-trampoline-like effect.

He said Ciara and other children using the play centre at Jump Zone North's Santry leisure facility had been directed to jump from one multi-coloured square to the next, rather than the in-between areas.

Mr D'Arcy, who appeared with Spellman Callaghan Solicitors, told Judge O'Connor that Ciara missed a square and had been seen on CCTV to fall and suffer injury to her feet. She had been taken to Temple Street Children's Hospital, where both her feet had been X-rayed.

Counsel said that in a medical report of Mr Michael K Dodds, consultant orthopaedic surgeon, the X-rays had suggested to him there had been undisplaced fractures to her ankles.

The report had shown that Ciara, who sued Jump Zone North through her mother, Sandra Kennedy, of The Court, Mulhuddart Wood, Dublin 15, had been prescribed walking boots for three months, with little else in terms of treatment, and had made a good and quick recovery.

Mr D'Arcy said a full defence had been delivered by Jump Zone North, which effectively contended the incident was an unfortunate accident. A without-liability offer of €25,000 had been made by the defendant and he was recommending the court accept it.

He said the protective foam covering should have been more tightly secured and more protective of the risk that had presented to Ciara. He felt Ciara would succeed in her claim on the basis the infrastructure was not fit for the purpose intended.

Judge O'Connor approved the €25,000 settlement offer from the defendant, together with circuit court costs.

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