Offer of Compensation for Shop Accident Rejected by Judge

An offer of compensation for injuries sustained by a young girl in a shop accident has been refused by a judge in the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.

Shauna Kelly (17) was browsing through the electronic books section in the Eason’s branch in Lower O’Connell Street when an electronic display board fell from the wall and hit her on the head and arm.

Shauna was transported the Crumlin Children’s Hospital, where she was diagnosed with a concussion and soft tissue injuries to her back and neck. X-rays were taken, and it was revealed that no bones had been broken, although she had sprained her wrist. A splint was placed on the wound to add support while it healed.

On behalf of her daughter, Kathy Maher consulted a solicitor, and made a claim for compensation for personal injuries sustained in a shop accident. She claimed that Eason’s and David James Retail Solutions Ltd-the company that had installed the display board-had failed in their duty of care, resulting in the injury to her daughter.

The defendants offered a settlement of €13,500 after some negotiations to resolve the claim. As Shauna was a minor at the time, the offer of compensation had to be brought before a judge to be approved on her behalf.

Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard the case at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin. He heard the circumstances of the accident, and the nature of the injuries sustained. The plaintiffs claimed that Shauna experienced severe headaches for six months after the accident occurred and still suffered stiffness in her back.

Shauna’s barrister told the judge of the offer that had been made by the defendants as compensation for the injuries sustained in a shop accident. He further stated that he did not believe that it adequately represented the young girl’s injuries, and thus was not prepared to recommend approval.

Judge Groarke declined the settlement, claiming that a more appropriate settlement of compensation for Shauna could be made if the case went to a full hearing. The approval hearing will be held later this year.

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