Child left with scar after playground fall settles £70,000 lawsuit

A young girl who tripped in a playground and hit her head due to a forehead laceration has settled a lawsuit for €70,000.

Judith Byrne was four years old when it is claimed she fell on a black rubber mesh mat which was allegedly sticking out of the grass at her local playground.

The little girl, who is now seven, had, through her mother, Sarah Byrne, of Alma Court, Ranelagh, sued Dublin City Council over the accident at the Ranelagh Gardens Park playground , Dublin, September 5, 2018.

In a court affidavit, her mother said that Judith, who was at the playground with her father, ran towards a slide but tripped and stumbled forward against the top of the slide because of the black rubber mesh mat.

The little girl, she said, hit her head against the edges of the slide and suffered a burst laceration on the left side of her forehead. The laceration had to be repaired in the hospital while she was under general anesthesia.

His lawyer, Tracey Ennis Faherty BL, told the court the child had a 4cm scar above his eyebrow. Medical reports indicated that it was permanent in nature and evident at conversational distance, but should fade over time.

The attorney said a full defense has been filed in the case.

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Approving the settlement, Judge Garrett Simons noted that liability was at issue in the case and Dublin City Council argued that an unknown third party had interfered with the carpet.

The board also said the playground was regularly inspected, which the judge said was confirmed by documents revealed during the discovery process of the case.

The judge said the crucial fact was that there was liability risk in the case. He said it was a good settlement and told Judith’s mother “a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush”.

Judge Simons said he had the benefit of three medical reports and also inspected the scar which he said was “just about noticeable”, but added the little girl appeared to be handling it very well.

Harold B. McConnell