Child’s case over ‘earwig’ in water bottle settled for almost €6,000

Hazel Tyrell taken to hospital when aged 15 months after consuming SuperValu drank


A Co Dublin toddler who drank from a water bottle that allegedly contained an earwig, has been awarded almost €6,000 in damages by the Circuit Civil Court.

John Ferry, counsel for Hazel Tyrell (aged three), of Ashfield Rise, Balbriggan, Co Dublin, told Judge Terence O’Sullivan that on December 17th, 2015 when the child was 15 months old her mother, Colette, bought a number of bottles of water at Supervalu in Balbriggan.

Mr Ferry said the water was packaged in 250ml plastic bottles branded “SuperValu Kid’s Water” and that Ms Tyrell gave Hazel one of them to drink.

He said that after Hazel had consumed the water her mother noticed something floating inside the bottle. On closer inspection, she found an earwig, the court heard.

Musgrave Group, of Ballycurreen, Airport Road, Cork, and Munster Soft Drinks, Shelton Business Park, Ballyneety, Co Limerick, entered full defences to the claim that the water had been contaminated and was unacceptable for human consumption.


Ms Tyrell, in a sworn statement, said that two days after drinking the water her daughter developed a swollen eyelid and spots appeared on her neck, ears, stomach and legs. She was unwell for a few days and was examined in the emergency department of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda.

She was told it was likely her daughter had suffered a mild allergic reaction and the symptoms had resolved over the following 24 hours.

Ms Tyrell said the material found in the water had been examined by the Health Service Executive’s public analyst’s laboratory a week after the incident, which said the insect was an earwig.

Mr Ferry told the court that a settlement offer of €5,000 had been made in the case and, together with €956 expenses, he was recommending acceptance of the offer to the court.

“It has not been possible to correlate the rash symptoms to the ingestion of the water and medical opinion is that the cause of the symptoms is unknown,” Mr Ferry said.

He said the defendants had strenuously denied negligence or liability in the case and he felt it would be best to recommend acceptance of the offer together with District Court costs.

Judge O’Sullivan, approving the offer, said he felt it would have been unwise for the child’s legal team not to recommend acceptance of the settlement.