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'unfortunate accident' Judge dismisses €60k claim against Sunway Travel over child (5) injured by ceiling fan

I am happy that Mason has subsequently made an unremarkable recovery but it is the court’s view that the defendant is not negligent,” Judge McCourt said.

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High Court, Dublin

High Court, Dublin

High Court, Dublin

A €60,000 damages claim on behalf of a five year old child who was injured while on holiday in Tenerife two years ago, has been dismissed against Dunlaoghaire, Co Dublin, holiday firm Sunway Travel.

Judge James McCourt said in the Circuit Civil Court today that an injury to the side of little Mason Heeney’s head when lifted by his 6 foot 3inch father and bumped off a ceiling fan, was simply an unfortunate accident.

The judge told the boy’s father, Kevin Heeney, of Clare Village, Malahide Road, Dublin 17, that he had been a sound and creditable witness about how his son’s accident, and an injury to his own hand, happened in their Tenerife Hotel Room.

“But sometimes such witnesses in their candour simply confirm that what happened was an accident for which no-one else can be held responsible,” Judge McCourt told barrister Brendan Savage, counsel for Sunway Travel which trades in Clarence House, Dunlaoghaire, Co Dublin, as Sunways Travel.

The court heard that in the extreme mid-August heat of their holiday apartment, in which air circulation was governed by the ceiling fan, Mr Heeney’s child had become cranky and he had lifted him to calm him down.

He had raised him slightly above his own head and the side of his son’s head had struck one of the blades of the fan

Mr Heeney had told Judge McCourt that he had earlier struck his hand off one of the blades on the ceiling fan which had only a six inch clearance above the height of his own head and he had twice asked hotel representatives to move his family to an air conditioned room prior to the incident in which Mason had been injured.

Heeney agreed with Mr Savage that had he been standing beneath a wooden door frame in the apartment he would not have raised his son to a level of striking the overhead door frame.

He also agreed that in such a case the holiday firm would be blameless.

“I am happy that Mason has subsequently made an unremarkable recovery but it is the court’s view that the defendant is not negligent,” Judge McCourt said.

He refused to make an order for costs against the boy who had sued through his father.

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