A five-figure settlement of compensation has been approved by the Circuit Court on behalf of a young girl injured by the Luas in Dublin.
The accident occurred on the 14th February 2008 when Aoife Heron, then aged six, was boarding the Luas at Connelly Station with her mother. Aoife’s mother, Elaine, was attempting to get a buggy with Aoife’s younger sister onto the tram, though didn’t manage to get in before the doors began to close.
This momentarily trapped the buggy, though the doors soon reopened. However, as Aoife tried to alight from the Luas and rejoin her mother, the doors closed again – this time, trapping little Aoife’s head.
Aoife’s head injury was treated by an emergency ambulance crew at Connelly Station. Her mother later brought her to the family’s GP. The doctor diagnosed Aoife with soft tissue damage and extensive bruising. Since the accident, Aoife has developed a fear of travelling on the Luas, and also has a scar on her head. According to her GP, Aoife may need therapy in the future to help her overcome the phobia.
Acting on her daughter’s behalf, Elaine made a claim for personal injury compensation against Veolia Transport Dublin Light Rai Ltd, the company which operates the Luas, for breach of duty and negligence resulting in injury.
Though the company denied that they were liable for Aoife’s injury, and prepared a full legal defence, they agreed to negotiate a settlement of compensation with the Heron family. Eventually, a €25,000 settlement was agreed upon.
The settlement proceeded to the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin for approval by Mr Justice Raymond Graorke, who is also the President of the Court. Judge Groarke approved the settlement for the now thirteen year old Aoife, though he ruled that the settlement will be held in court funds until Aoife reaches the age of eighteen.