'laceration' | 

€30,000 settlement for girl who fell and cut her head on school chair

She suffered a laceration near her left eye area after she fell forward and struck her head on the chair which was propping open a door.

The High Court.

Stock image© Getty Images/iStockphoto

Tim HealyIndependent.ie

A girl who fell as she was coming in from her school playground and hit her head on a chair has settled a High Court action for €30,000.

Lara Higgins was five when she suffered a laceration near her left eye area after she fell forward and struck her head on the chair which was propping open a door.

Lara (now 9) of Clonmethan Green, Oldtown, Co Dublin, through her mother Leanne Higgins, sued Drumnigh Montessori Primary School Company who operate a Montessori school at Newbrook Road, Donaghmede, Dublin, over the accident on January 25, 2018.

The claim was denied and the settlement was without an admission of liability.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Garrett Simons noted the girl said another child had accidentally bumped into her as they lined up to go inside and she fell forward into the chair.

The judge said it was “part of the rough and tumble of life”.

It did not seem to the judge that the use of the chair was negligent.

In the action, it was claimed she struck her head against a wooden and metal class chair which had been placed to prop a door open.

She suffered a laceration around her left eye area and a year later had to have revision surgery. She has been left with a 3cm scar.

It was claimed the chair was placed in an alleged inappropriate location and an alleged obstruction had been created at the door area.

All the claims were denied.

It was contended by the school that what happened was an unfortunate accident which was not caused or contributed to by any alleged default or neglect on its part. It was further contended that the child simply tripped and fell .

Kevin D’Arcy BL instructed by Niall Corr Solicitors, for Lara, told the court the girl said she was pushed by another child and fell forward as they came in from the playground.

Counsel said at issue in the case was a chair which was propping a door open as the children came back in from the playground.

Counsel said there were 26 students and five supervisors in the area at the time.

Mr Justice Simons said a full defence had been entered and there was a significant risk liability would go against the little girl in the case.

The judge, who examined the scar, said while it was noticeable it was not particularly obvious or significant.

He said it was a very good and generous settlement.

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