Boy who trapped his head in gates awarded €50,000

Lee McCabe suffered lacerations to his head and had scars above his right eye

A seven-year-old boy, who was injured when his head was trapped in electric security gates, has been awarded more than €50,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court.

Judge John Aylmer was told that Lee McCabe was four when the gates closed on his head and had to be rescued by a neighbour who had heard him crying for help.

Barrister Conor Kearney, who appeared with Tony Taaffe solicitor for Lee, told the court that Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, had last year rejected a €37,000 assessment by the Personal Injuries Board.

Mr Kearney said Lee, of Griffith Parade, Finglas East, Dublin, suffered serious lacerations to his head and had been left with significant scars above his right eye and within his hairline on the back of his head.

He told Judge Aylmer that the accident had been caused by faulty sensors, which had failed to sense the boy’s presence as the gates closed, and Lee had, through his mother Michelle McCabe, sued Lanesborough CDE & F Management Company Limited, Lanesborough Square Development, Finglas, Dublin.

Mr Kearney said an original assessment by the Personal Injuries Board of €37,133 had been accepted by the boy’s mother, but had been rejected by the defendant. When the case appeared before the court for directions in July last year Mr Kearney refused to recommend approval of the €37,133 figure and had suggested a figure of €45,000.

Judge Groarke, on examining Lee’s scars and considering medical reports, had rejected the offer which he felt was still very much on the low side.

Mr Kearney said that, since that time, the defendants had reconsidered their offer and had increased it to €50,000 together with special damages and expenses which brought the proffered settlement up to €52,133.

Judge Aylmer approved the new offer with costs against the defendant.