The settlement of a schoolgirl´s claim for compensation for an injury on the Luas has been approved by a judge at the Circuit Civil Court.
On 14th February 2008, Elaine Heron from Raheny in Dublin was boarding a Luas at Connelly Street with her two children Aoife and Kate. Six-year-old Aoife boarded the Luas first, but as Elaine started pushing the buggy containing Kate onto the train, the automatic doors closed – trapping the buggy.
The doors opened due to the blockage and gave Elaine enough time to pull the buggy out; but as Aoife started to disembark from the Luas to join her mother and sister on the platform, the automatic doors closed once again – this time trapping Aoife´s head between them.
An ambulance was called to the Connelly Street stop and Aoife was treated for a head injury by paramedics. She was later examined by the family´s GP, who diagnosed bruising and a soft tissue injury. As a consequence of her accident, Aoife – now thirteen years of age – still has a scar on the side of her head and has developed a fear of travelling on the Luas.
Through her mother, Aoife claimed compensation for an injury on the Luas against Veolia Transport Dublin Light Rail Ltd – the operators of the service – alleging negligence and breach of duty. The transport company initially denied its liability for Aoife´s head injury and prepared a full defence of the claim.
However, after a period of negotiation between solicitors representing the two parties, a settlement of €25,000 compensation for an injury on the Luas was agreed – a settlement which had to be approved by a judge as Aoife is under the age of eighteen.
Consequently the details of the schoolgirl´s accident and injury were related to Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin. Judge Groarke was also told that Aoife may need psychotherapy in the future to overcome her fear of travelling on the Luas, after which he approved the settlement of compensation for an injury on the Luas and wished Aoife all the best for the future.