Girl left scarred after falling into brambles at school secures settlement of €90,000

Mr Justice Garrett Simons says settlement offer for child seemed ‘very generous’

Cara Faye O’Brien O’Keeffe fell into brambles while playing at her school and suffered lacerations and abrasions to her face.

Cara Faye O’Brien O’Keeffe fell into brambles while playing at her school and suffered lacerations and abrasions to her face.

 

A child left with facial scars after falling into brambles while playing at her Montessori school has secured €90,000 under a settlement of her High Court action.

Mr Justice Garrett Simons said the settlement offer for Cara Faye O’Brien O’Keeffe, now aged six, seemed “very generous” and he had no hesitation approving it.

Through her father Mark, from Donabate, Co Dublin, the child had taken proceedings against the Representative Body of the Church of Ireland and Louise Fitzsimons, trading as Deerpark Montessori School, in Swords, Co Dublin.

The case arose from an incident on April 19th, 2018 in which the child, then aged three and a half, fell into brambles while playing at her school and suffered lacerations and abrasions to her face.

It was claimed the brambles were permitted to grow at the side of the play area and the child was not supervised at the time of the incident.

In seeking approval of the settlement offer on Monday, David Burke, for the child, said his side were very pleased with the offer and was recommending it for reasons including the Court of Appeal, had in separate case with some similarities, reduced a lesser settlement on appeal.

In his ruling the judge said this was an unfortunate accident and the child suffered “quite nasty injuries”. Some of the scars were permanent and he was told a larger scar was unlikely to be improved by surgical intervention.

The child is very young and not very conscious of the scars now but may be conscious of them in her teenage years, he said.

Noting the Court of Appeal’s reduction of a lesser award in a case involving a scalding injury, the judge said the offer was very good for a case like this and he would approve it.