A €25,000 settlement of Luas injury compensation has been approved for a schoolgirl from Dublin who was hurt in an accident seven years ago.
Aoife Heron from Raheny in Dublin was hurt in the accident on 14th February 2008 when she, her mother and her younger sister were boarding a Luas at Connelly Street with the intention of travelling to Jervis Street.
Aoife – who was only six years of age at the time – boarded the Luas ahead of her mother Elaine; but, as Elaine started to push the buggy containing her younger child onto the Luas, the automatic doors closed – trapping the buggy between them.
Due to there being a blockage, the doors automatically opened, and Elaine was able to retract the buggy. Aoife, who was still inside the train, went to join her mother and sister on the platform; but as she tried to disembark, the automatic doors closed once again – on this occasion trapping the little girl´s head between them.
An ambulance was called, and Aoife was treated at the scene for a head injury by paramedics. A later examination by the family´s GP determined that Aoife had suffered a soft tissue injury and significant bruising. Seven years later, and Aoife has a scar on her head and has developed a phobia about travelling on the Luas.
Through her mother, Aoife made a Luas injury compensation claim against Veolia Transport Dublin Light Rail Ltd – the operators of the Luas. In the claim it was alleged that Veolia had been negligent and in breach of duty. Veolia initially denied its liability for Aoife´s Luas injury and prepared a full defence to contest the claim.
However, after a period of negotiation between solicitors representing the two parties, a €25,000 settlement of Aoife´s Luas injury compensation claim was agreed – the settlement having to be first approved by a judge as Aoife is legally a minor.
Consequently the details of the accident and Aoife´s injury were told to Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin. Judge Groarke heard that Aoife may need psychotherapy in the future to overcome her phobia about travelling on the Luas, and the judge approved the settlement of Luas injury compensation – wishing Aoife all the best for the future.