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Saturday 2 December 2023 Dublin: 5°C

Eight-month-old awarded €27.5k after pulling boiling water on herself at Chinese restaurant

The court heard the water was placed in front of her, and before her parents could react she had spilled it.

AN EIGHT-MONTH-old child, who was scalded when she pulled a bowl of boiling water over her upper and lower body at a dinner table, has been awarded €27,500 damages against a Dublin Chinese restaurant.

Barrister Rory O’Reilly told the Circuit Civil Court today that Lilly Caulfield’s father had to take her to the restaurant bathroom to pour cold water over her wounds.

Pieces of scalded skin came away from the child’s right arm as her parents removed her clothes in the toilet area, Circuit Court President Justice Raymond Groarke heard.

O’Reilly, who appeared with O’Reilly Doherty Solicitors, told the court the baby had been sitting in a high chair in the Royal Plaza Chinese Restaurant at Meakstown, Finglas, in February 2014 when the incident happened.

He said her mother, Lisa Caulfield, had asked for some warm water to be brought to the table to heat up baby food.

O’Reilly said the water had been placed in front of the child by a waiter. Before her parents could react she had accidentally pulled the bowl of boiling water down on herself, burning her right arm, chest and legs, he said.

Lilly’s father took her from her high chair and rushed to the toilet area and splashed cold water over her wounds. Her clothes had been removed before she was taken by car to the Emergency Department of Temple Street Children’s University Hospital.

O’Reilly said Lilly had been attended by nurses and plastic surgery staff at the hospital where she was found to have 1% burns, which were dressed. She was given painkillers before being allowed home.  She had to undergo painful re-dressings before her wounds had healed.

Counsel told the court, Lilly, now just short of five years old, had sued, through her mother, China Island Limited which trades as Royal Plaza restaurant, Meakstown, Finglas. The Injuries Board had assessed damages at €12,000 which Judge Groarke had earlier refused as inadequate.

O’Reilly said Lilly had subsequently been reviewed by Kevin Cronin, Consultant Plastic Surgeon whose opinion was that she had been left with a small indentation scar of a permanent nature on her right arm.

Judge Groarke, who heard Lilly had to endure some months of quite painful treatment, approved a settlement offer by the restaurant of €27,500.

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