An injury claim by a childcare worker has been resolved for an undisclosed settlement during a court hearing to establish liability.

The twenty-six year old childcare worker made her injury claim following a trip and fall accident at the Precious Minds creche in Lucan, Dublin. She had been asked by a senior worker to help with changing nappies in the babies room. Already looking after a group of small children, she took those who were awake and went into the babies room as requested.

The senior worker left soon after, leaving the childcare worker in charge of none infants. It was while she was attending to their needs that she tripped on a plastic plate that had been left on the floor and fell – sustaining soft tissue injuries to her lower back and upper legs. She quickly sought medical treatment from her GP, but continues to suffer from back pain.

The woman applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of compensation, but the owners of the Precious Minds creche withheld their consent for the assessment to take place. The Injuries Board issued the woman with an authorization to pursue her injury claim by a childcare worker through the courts, and her case was heard last week at the Circuit Civil Court.

At the hearing, Judge Brian O´Callaghan was told by the counsel for the defence that the woman had been the author of her own misfortune. It was alleged that her duties included ensuring that the floor was free from hazards to avoid the children being injured. As she had fallen over a plastic plate left on the floor, it was argued that she had failed in her duties and was therefore responsible for her accident.

The judge also heard a statement from a forensic engineer, who claimed that the plaintiff had been placed in a particularly stressful situation by being left in charge of nine children. He said that the adult/child ratio was too high, and it demonstrated a lack of care by the creche´s management. There then followed a brief adjournment while settlement negotiations took place.

On the resumption of the hearing, Judge O´Callaghan was told that the injury claim by a childcare worker had been resolved for an undisclosed settlement without an admission of liability. The judge struck the claim – awarding the woman her costs and complimenting the two parties on reaching an agreement.

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