Judge approves €45,000 settlement for girl splashed by acid in lab

Katie May Learmouth (15) suffered burns to both legs in accident at her school in Dublin

A judge has approved a €45,000 personal injuries settlement offer for a 15-year-old schoolgirl who was accidentally splashed with sulphuric acid in a science lab.

Judge John O’Connor heard that Katie May Learmouth, who will be 16 at the end of this month, had suffered acid burns to her legs in the incident just over two years ago.

Barrister Rory O'Reilly, counsel for Katie, told the Circuit Civil court that liability for the incident had not been questioned by Mount Carmel Secondary School where the incident occurred on September 3rd, 2018.

Mr O’Reilly, who appeared with Gary Matthews Solicitors, said Katie, of Longboat Quay South, Hanover Quay, Dublin 2, had been splashed with sulphuric acid during a lesson in the science lab.

He said Mount Carmel Secondary School in King’s Inns Street, Dublin, while not raising any issue on liability, had made a settlement offer of €45,000 to Katie acceptance of which he, and the girl’s father Brian Learmouth, through whom she had sued her school, was recommending to the court.

Mr O’Reilly said Katie had suffered a number of acid burns which had left permanent scars on both her legs. She had immediately received first aid treatment with ice packs at the school before having been taken home and later had been seen by a consultant surgeon.

Judge O’Connor was told Katie had been engaged in a lesson in the school’s science laboratory and while carrying out an experiment a glass cylinder she believed to have been empty had slipped from her grasp, spilling the acid onto both her lower limbs.

Mr O’Reilly, in a written legal opinion to the court, said Katie had suffered “a level of social embarrassment as a result of her injuries.”

Judge O’Connor said he considered the offer a good one and approved the settlement.