Young man left paralysed after fall from swing settles case for €975,000

by Ann O’Loughlin

A young man who has been left paralysed from the waist down after he fell off a child’s swing in a playground has settled his High Court action for €975,000.

Liam Daly was 15 years of age when he suffered a serious spine injury after he landed heavily on his back when he fell off the swing in a playground attached to a caravan park where the family mobile was situated at Bettystown, Co Meath.

The High Court heard the teenager had been swinging on a swing designed for toddlers and young children.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross said the consequences of "that silly act" were very serious for Liam who is now aged twenty years and is wheelchair bound.

Liam Daly, Nephin Road, Off Navan Road, Dublin 7 had through his father John Daly sued David, Gerard, Kenneth and Michael Lynch trading as Lynch’s Caravan park, Bettystown, Co Meath as a result of the accident on July 24, 2013.

He claimed the cradle seat of the swing was caused to rotate at the maximum arc position and he was ejected, and there was also an alleged failure to prohibit teenagers using the swings.

The claims were denied, and it was contended there was contributory negligence on the part of the teenager who it was claimed took it upon himself to get on to a swing which was designed for younger children and unsuitable for him.

It was also alleged the boy attempted to use a swing for which he was too old and too big and was using the swing in an allegedly dangerous manner.

Liam’s counsel Bruce Antoniotti SC said the Daly family had a mobile home at the caravan park for ten years before the accident. The then 15-year old, he said had gone to the playground at around 7pm. He went on the slide and then got on the swing which was designed for a toddler.

Liam, Mr Antoniotti said sat on the cradle of the swing and began swinging but as he swung he fell back and suffered a very serious spine injury. He is now wheelchair bound but can drive a car and is hopeful of getting employment.

Counsel said there was matting, but it was not state of the art, but Counsel said the way the boy fell it would not have made a difference if the matting was state of the art or not.

Mr Antoniotti said it was an accident which occurred because the swing was not being used properly. Counsel said the swing was fine for a young child or toddler.

Approving the settlement Mr Justice Cross said Liam was 15 years of age at the time of the accident, but the consequences of that "silly act" were very serious for him. The judge said in all the circumstances it was a good settlement.


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