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Wednesday 20 September 2017

Schoolgirl gets €12.5k for swimming pool injury

(stock photo)
(stock photo)

A 12-year-old schoolgirl, who injured her chin when a man dived on top of her in a Spanish swimming pool, has been awarded €12,500 damages.

Barrister Conor Kearney told the Circuit Civil Court that Megan Cullen was staying with her family at Sol Principe Hotel in Torremolinos, Malaga, when the accident happened on August 22, 2012.

Counsel said Megan, who was eight years old at the time, was using the hotel swimming pool when a man jumped in and landed on top of her, pushing her to the bottom of the pool.

The court heard Megan lacerated her chin when it hit tiles at the bottom of the pool.

She had been taken by her father, Peter Cullen, to a local medical centre, where her bleeding chin had been cleansed and steri-strips applied to the wound.

Mr Kearney said Megan's injury had left a 1cm pale scar on her chin. She had suffered pain, distress and discomfort.

Through her father Peter, of Littlepace Woods, Clonee, Dublin, Megan sued travel agent Linevana, of Lower Liffey Street, Dublin, and the hotel for negligence and breach of duty.

Precautions

She claimed the defendants had failed to take any adequate precautions while she was using the swimming pool and had failed to supervise it correctly.

Her social, domestic and recreational life had been disturbed by the incident.

Mr Kearney said the defendants had entered full defences to Megan's claim denying liability and argued in a preliminary issue that Spanish law was applicable in these proceedings.

Counsel said that if Megan's case was determined in accordance with Spanish law, she could be awarded around €5,000 in damages.

The defendants had made a settlement offer in that amount, which had been rejected.

The court heard that, following further talks between the parties, the defendants had increased their offer to €12,500, which Mr Kearney recommended to the court.

Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, hearing that liability may be an issue if Megan's case proceeded to a full hearing, said that in the circumstances he was happy to approve the offer.

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