herald

Wednesday 26 September 2018

Girl's €60k claim after cutting foot on broken glass dismissed

Paula Davis said she was aware of illegally dumped rubbish
Paula Davis said she was aware of illegally dumped rubbish

South Dublin County Council, which has 1,500 acres of parks and open space, could not be expected to collect illegally dumped rubbish on a daily basis, the Circuit Civil Court has been told.

Barrister John Doherty, counsel for the local authority, told Judge Terence O'Sullivan that rubbish was collected on a regular basis and there was little more the council could do apart from keeping children off recreational areas by fencing around them.

"That would defeat the very purpose of having them in the first place," he said in a case in which the father of a nine-year-old girl unsuccessfully sued the council for €60,000 damages after the child injured her foot four years ago on broken glass.

Reckless

Mr Doherty told Judge O'Sullivan that the law in such cases imposed a duty of care on local authorities insofar as not to injure a person intentionally and not to act with reckless disregard for the safety of users.

Counsel for Brooke Davis, suing through her father Carl Davis, of Kilmartin Avenue, Tallaght, Dublin, told the court the local authority had been negligent in its duty towards members of the public.

Paula Davis, Brooke's mother, told the court her child had been playing with others on a large green outside her home and lacerated her foot on a broken glass bottle.

She told Mr Doherty in cross-examination that she was aware, before Brooke had started playing with her friends, that there was illegally dumped rubbish on the green.

Refusing to make any order for costs against the plaintiff, Judge O'Sullivan said he accepted both that Brooke had been injured and the honesty of the witnesses who gave evidence.

The law was not in their favour, however, and he had to dismiss the case.

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