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Thursday 21 March 2019

€25k for boy left with scar on head after fall at hotel

Gabriel’s mum Oksana Jakuska
Gabriel’s mum Oksana Jakuska

An eight-year-old boy who fell and cut his forehead at the Deer Park Hotel, in Howth, Co Dublin more than five years ago, has been awarded €25,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court.

Barrister Roger Cross told Judge Eugene O'Kelly that no one saw then toddler Gabriel Jakuska fall and strike his head against a metal handrail on the stairs outside the hotel in July 2013 and for that reason he was recommending the court's approval of a €25,000 settlement offer.

Mr Cross said Gabriel, who was two years and eight months old at the time, was taken by ambulance to Temple Street Hospital where the wound in the middle of his forehead was glued and stitched.

Sharp

Judge O'Kelly heard that the boy, who sued the hotel through his mother Oksana Jakuska, of Willsborough, Clonshaugh, Dublin 17, was still very aware of the one-inch-long red scar on his forehead, about which school pals frequently commented.

Mr Cross said Gabriel struck his head against a sharp corner of the metal railing, and the defendant, Deer Park Golf Course, Cookery School and Howth Estate Company, had entered a full defence to the boy's claim.

The defendant, known as the Deer Park Hotel, had pleaded that the accident was effectively caused by the boy himself and forensic engineers, who had examined the rails, agreed that they fully complied with regulations.

"The accident was not witnessed by anyone and no one knows how it happened," Mr Cross told the court.

Judge O'Kelly, who consulted a plastic surgeon's report, said the scar was a prominent one on the centre of the boy's forehead.

He said he was gravely concerned that, were the case to run to full trial, particularly in circumstances where a full defence had been entered and Gabriel was so young as to have no recollection of the incident, it could be lost.

The judge approved the settlement offer.

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