herald

Sunday 23 July 2017

€20k compo for girl after neighbour's dog bit her

Victim Lucy’s dad, Ronan
Victim Lucy’s dad, Ronan

A nine-year-old schoolgirl who was bitten by a neighbour's dog two years ago has been awarded €20,000 in damages.

Barrister Caitriona O'Reilly told the Circuit Civil Court that in June 2015, Lucy Flynn had been playing on a path in front of her home when she was attacked by "a big mongrel dog".

Ms O'Reilly said Lucy, now 11, had been walking on the pathway when the attack happened.

The dog bit into the left side of her abdomen and her mother took her to the Vhi SwiftCare clinic in Dundrum where her wounds were treated and she was prescribed a course of antibiotics.

Negligent

Lucy, through her father Ronan Flynn, of Barton Road West, Rathfarnham, sued neighbours Geraldine and Thomas Byrne who lived next door.

Her legal team had alleged that the Byrnes had been negligent in failing to maintain control over their dog.

Lucy had been very upset and distressed, and when she was taken to the clinic, doctors noted bite marks on her abdomen.

Ms O'Reilly told Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke that Lucy had been reviewed by her GP, Dr Declan Cantwell, two months after the incident and he noted that she had suffered significant injuries.

The doctor reported scarring which he expected to improve with time.

Counsel told the court that although Lucy had lost confidence and was nervous around dogs, she had made a good physical recovery and the scarring had faded considerably.

Ms O'Reilly said the defendants had made a settlement offer of €20,000 in the case and she was recommending it be accepted by the court.

Judge Groarke, approving the offer and payment of the Flynn family's legal costs, said he respected the view of the family that the matter should be done and dusted.

When the judge said, "I take it that the dog was destroyed", Ms O'Reilly informed the court that it had not been put down.

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