A young girl (9) who was scalded by a coffee at 15 months old has secured an award of €45,000 in her High Court action.
The court heard how the girl had been sitting in a highchair in a café alongside her mother and father when coffee was delivered to their table in January of 2015.
In an affidavit to the court, it was alleged that the waitress serving their coffee approached them and placed one of their coffee orders on the table. However, in doing so, the remaining cups of coffee on the tray that the waitress was holding spilled, resulting in the scalding liquid landing on the toddler’s left shoulder and arm.
The mother recalled how her daughter had been in severe distress because of the incident. Her father took her behind the counter of the café and attempted to treat her injuries with cold water. A cold compress was then applied to the affected areas, and the girl was taken to the hospital.
While the scalding water had landed on the area between the girl’s neck and chest area, she was fortunate enough to have not needed dressings in these areas with the injury resolving quickly, according to the mother. Bandages were subsequently applied to the main affected areas over the three proceeding weeks.
Difficult to see scarring
Following a review of the girl’s injuries in 2019, a doctor stated that it was difficult to see any scarring that had occurred from the incident four years previous. However, upon closer examination, the doctor noted that there was a scar about 1cm long.
In approving the settlement amount of €45,000 without hesitation, Mr Justice Garrett Simons commented that the experience must have been very painful for the girl, but that the affected area seemed to have healed well in the intervening years.
Liability was formally conceded in the case.
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.*