€65,000 for hot water bottle injury


A YOUNG woman who told the High Court she cannot wear high heels as a result of a burn injury suffered when a hot water bottle in her bed split open has been awarded €65,000 damages.

Ann Marie McGee (25), Meenlaragh, Letterkenny, was aged 15 when the incident occurred 10 years ago in her Co Donegal home.

She told the High Court yesterday she still cannot wear high heels, had to give up playing football and could not sit her mock Junior Cert exams immediately after the incident.

“It was very painful. I had to keep my foot in a basin of cold water all night,” she said.

She said she had to go to hospital and the skin on her left foot had bubbled up. She later developed septicaemia on the foot and could not wear socks or shoes for two months after the incident.

Ms McGee said she has been left with a permanent scar and is conscious of that.

“ I still can’t wear heels. The rim of the shoe catches on the burn,” she said.

When the case was called yesterday before Ms Justice Mary Irvine, Richard Lyons SC, for Ms McGee, said she had settled her case against Siopa Niall Ruaidh Teoranta trading as Mace Supermarket, Gortahork, Letterkenny, Co Donegal, and the matter before the court was against wholesale distributor Peter McCallig, trading as McCallig Brothers, Mount Street, Claremorris, Co Mayo, for assessment of damages only.

Counsel said proceedings against the importer and supplier of the hot water bottle could be struck out.

It was claimed Ms McGee’s mother bought the hot water bottle in December 2001.

On February 4th, 2002, Ms McGee placed the hot water bottle in her bed.

She claimed she got into bed and placed her left foot beneath the bottle, which spilt, and the contents poured on to her foot.

It was claimed the incident occurred as a result of negligence and breach of duty of the defendants, but they denied those claims.

Ms Justice Irvine, who examined the scar on Ms McGee’s foot in her private chambers, said the young woman had suffered excruciating pain when the hot water bottle split open.