Child awarded €45,000 for injuries suffered while in the womb

Girl’s mother hit against shopping trolley which stopped suddenly on Tesco travellator

A four-year-old child who was found to have been injured when only at 20 weeks gestation, is to receive €45,000 damages for personal injury arising from an accident in a Tesco store.

David K McGrath, counsel for the child, told Judge Eoin Garavan in the Circuit Civil Court that his client was injured when her mother collided with her shopping trolley which stopped suddenly on a travellator.

Mr McGrath, who appeared with Sean Miller of Crowley Miller Solicitors, said the child’s mother, Elaine Stewart, banged against the trolley at the Bloomfield Shopping Centre, Lower George’s Street, Dún Laoghaire in February 2013.

Judge Garavan said the injury of an unborn child in a shopping accident was a most unusual case and one which had not previously come before the court as far as he was aware.



Mr McGrath said that when the child was born in May 2013 she was found to have been suffering with haemolytic disease of the newborn, a type of jaundice, and had to be treated in a special unit for just under a week.

He said a medical expert linked the child’s condition to the accident and that Tesco had offered Ms Stewart, of Claremont Road, Sandymount, a settlement of €45,000 in respect of what happened to the child.

Counsel told the court that Ms Stewart’s older daughter, who was three at the time, fell and injured her head on the travellator in the same incident. She was offered a settlement of €28,000 by Tesco and counsel was recommending acceptance of the offers to the court.

Judge Garavan said both offers were very good and he approved the settlements.

While such a case is practically unknown to the Irish courts, a 23-month-old boy, who had not been conceived when his sister was killed in a hit-and-run in Dublin’s Phoenix Park in 2015, was last year awarded €1,500 “grief money” in the Circuit Civil Court over her death. Judge Terence of O’Sullivan said the boy would undoubtedly make inquiries in the future about his sister and would experience grief over her death.