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Friday 23 February 2018

Gym used recording of tub girl's electric shock, court is told

Teen was in a whirlpool tub
Teen was in a whirlpool tub

A 15-year-old girl who suffered an electric shock while getting out of a whirlpool tub was used in a staff training video at the gym where the accident happened, a court has heard.

Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke said he would be "very upset" if it was proved that the girl, now 16, had featured in a CCTV recording in which she could be clearly identified.

Thrown

Conor Kearney, the Dublin girl's counsel, said that apart from the teenager's physical injuries, her solicitor Blake Horrigan had learned since the incident in September last year that she had featured in a training video for gym staff.

The teenager had suffered an electric shock due to the presence of a faulty floor light.

She had been thrown several metres back into the tub at Sportslink, Swords, Co Dublin.

Her mother told the court her daughter was in her bathing suit and had just stepped from the tub when she received "a severe electric shock".

She was taken to the emergency department of Temple Street Children's Hospital and treated for spasm in her body and hand.

She has since complained of chest pain and palpitations and cramps in her legs.

The girl had gone to school the following day but suffered cramp in her right leg during physical exercise and while playing badminton.

Mr Kearney said Sportslink had made a settlement offer of €15,000 to include legal costs with an extra €1,000 for special damages, but he was not recommending it to the court because ongoing psychological injuries could arise.

He said the teenager and her mother had been upset to learn that the gym had used CCTV footage of the incident for training purposes without their consent.

Aggravated

This could lead to a finding by a trial judge that the gym had aggravated the situation.

Judge Groarke adjourned an application for the court's approval for five weeks to allow for further talks with the defendant.

"I would be very upset if I felt that CCTV was used in a situation where the girl was videoed in her swimwear for staff training purposes," Judge Groarke said.

"That would considerably enhance any settlement the court might be asked to approve."

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