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Boy (7) who was trapped in apartment complex lift for 40 minutes awarded €40k

The boy suffered from asthma and his father was told on the fourth alarm call that the fire brigade had not yet been alerted.
Jul 9th 2019, 5:13 PM 36,668 0

A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD BOY, who was trapped in a lift for nearly three-quarters of an hour and had to be rescued by members of the fire brigade has been awarded damages of €40,000 in the Circuit Civil Court today.

Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, heard that the lift had to be broken open after the boy had been trapped at the apartment complex in Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin where he lived.

Barrister Siobhán Kelly, counsel for the boy, told the court that the lift had suddenly lost power leaving the boy and his father trapped inside. She said there had been a number of unsuccessful attempts to open the doors by his dad and others who had also been trapped.

Kelly said that after five minutes the seven-year-old, who sued the lift company and the flats complex through his father, had panicked when an alarm had sounded causing him further distress.

She said he suffered from asthma and his father, on the emergency phone, had warned that the lift was becoming extremely hot for his son and the others inside.

Kelly, who appeared with Tracey Solicitors, said that only on the fourth alarm call had the father been informed the fire brigade had not been alerted. She said the operator had begun hanging up and placing the father on hold.

In her professional opinion to the court, Kelly stated that after 40 minutes the emergency services had arrived and had difficulty accessing the lift. They had to go to the floor above and firefighters had to get those trapped inside to push and bang the doors.

Eventually a gap had been made between the doors and the trapped people rescued. Kelly said that the boy had not had his inhalers with him at the time.

Kelly said the boy, who is now 10-years-old, had to be placed against a cold steel wall to be cooled down. He had been very shocked and distressed and had scraped his leg on the way out.

Judge Groarke heard that the boy had suffered serious trauma as a result of the incident and the joint defendants, Limerick-based Orona Midwestern Lifts Limited and Wyse Property Management Ltd, Dublin, had made a settlement offer of €40,000 which she was recommending to the court and which was approved.

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Simone Smith

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