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Schoolgirl bitten on the face by dog awarded €20,000 in damages

The girl was bitten a number of times.

Image: Shutterstock/eva_blanco

A FIVE-YEAR-OLD schoolgirl, who developed post-traumatic stress disorder after she was bitten on the face by a dog in a pet shop, has been awarded €20,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court.

Barrister Rosalind O’Connell told the court that on 19 January, 2015, Sophie Daney was at Maxi Zoo, Blanchardstown Shopping Centre, Dublin, when she was attacked by a black Labrador.

Ms O’Connell said the dog, owned by Eamon and Linda Fitzpatrick, of Tudor Grove, Ashbourne, Co Meath, bit Sophie a number of times on her face which started to bleed.

Counsel told Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke that Sophie, who was three-years-old at the time, was taken by her parents to a local medical centre.

Sophie had been upset and distressed and her lacerations had been cleaned and dressed. The court heard that she also received a Tetanus vaccine and later attended her GP.

Judge Groarke was told that Sophie’s wounds have left two half-centimetre scars on her nose and chin. She had developed a fear of large and medium-sized dogs and would need comfort and reassurance from her parents if she met one.

Assessment

Ms O’Connell said that a psychological assessment had revealed that Sophie developed post-traumatic stress disorder and her sleep had been disturbed for several months following the incident.

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Through her father Joseph Daney, of The Oaks, Ridgewood, Swords, Co Dublin, Sophie sued Maxi Zoo (Ireland) Limited, with a registered address at Westpoint Business Park, Link Road, Ballincollig, Co Cork, and the Fitzpatricks for negligence.

Counsel told the court that liability was not an issue in the case. She said the defendants had made a €20,000 settlement offer and she recommended acceptance of it.

Judge Groarke, approving the offer on behalf of all of the defendants, said that a trauma of that nature could result in long-lasting fears.

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Saurya Cherfi

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