Child scalded by hot chocolate spill on Ryanair flight awarded €25,000

Court heard a cold bottle of wine had been used on boy’s wounds to cool them down during flight

The judge heard that there had been no suitable pain medication in the aeroplane’s first-aid kit but that Calpol had been obtained from another passenger on board. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The judge heard that there had been no suitable pain medication in the aeroplane’s first-aid kit but that Calpol had been obtained from another passenger on board. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

 

An eight-year-old boy whose stomach and groin was scalded when hot chocolate spilled over him on a Ryanair flight, has been awarded damages of €25,000 in the Circuit Civil Court.

Judge James O’ Donohoe heard that James Lawlor of Holmwood, Brennanstown Road, Cabinteely, Dublin 18, had been travelling on a Ryanair flight from Faro Airport, Portugal, to Dublin on April 23rd 2017, when the incident occurred.

Barrister Clare O’ Shea, for the boy, told the court the child had been scalded and suffered severe pain to his abdomen when the hot chocolate spilled onto his lap. She said the child’s father had immediately pulled his son’s t-shirt off him.

Ms O’ Shea, who appeared with Dónall Johnston of Johnston Solicitors, said burns and blisters had begun to develop on the boy’s stomach. She said his father had alerted a member of the cabin crew and the child had been brought to the back of the plane for first aid.

The court heard the child, who sued through his mother Karen Lawlor, had anti-burn lotion applied to his stomach. Ms O’ Shea said there had been no cold packs available and a cold bottle of sparkling wine had been used on James’s wounds to cool them down.

She said the child’s pain had increased and he had become very distressed. A doctor on board had come to his assistance and administered a burns ointment.

Judge O’ Donohoe heard that there had been no suitable pain medication in the aeroplane’s first-aid kit but that Calpol had been obtained from another passenger on board.

He heard that on arrival at Dublin airport, the boy was taken to the paediatric emergency department of Tallaght Hospital where some cold gel had been applied to his wounds. It was noted the child had suffered superficial burns to his abdomen and had a small burn on his right side and some peeling of the skin.

Ms O’ Shea said the child had attended the dressing clinic in Tallaght Hospital six times for follow-up treatment. While attending for review in April 2018, photos taken by the child’s mother had shown a 20cm burn to her son’s abdomen.

This had improved over time and had healed by December 2017. The burn had taken eight months to heal and had left no scarring.

Ms O’ Shea recommended acceptance of a settlement offer from Ryanair of €25,000 which was approved by the court.