A YOUTH who injured his hand climbing over a gate to retrieve a football has been awarded €16,000 compensation from Laois County Council.
The boy was ten-years-old when he sustained the injury, on September 25, 2010. Barrister for the boy, Mr Colm Hennessy said that a football had gone over a gate which was part of a construction belonging to the county council. There were spears on top of the gate, but the construction was such that children were able to climb over it. Mr Hennessy said that his client had managed to get over the gate, but he then got a foot caught between the bars and injured his hand. The boy suffered a detachment of the nerve and had been left with permanent scarring and a slight loss of sensation.
Mr Hennessy admitted there was some “contributing negligence” on his client’s part, but the council’s initial offer of €12,500 was too low. He told Judge Hunt that there are other options open to the local authority besides this type of gate.
“It’s something you might see on Spike Island,” said Mr Hennessy.
Judge Hunt said that he had no jurisdiction to rule on compensation offers, but after examining the boy’s hand he declared it “a nasty enough injury”. The boy informed the judge that the injury causes him pain when he plays hurling and it sometimes feels stiff. Judge Hunt ruled that further negotiations would be appropriate between the parties and he said that he would require more than the amount being offered.
“That’s a permanent injury at the upper end of the scale and €12,500 is not enough,” the judge said.
The matter was adjourned for further discussion between the parties and when the case returned before Judge Hunt, Mr Hennessy informed him that the council were now offering €16,000. The judge approved the amount and the matter was finalised.