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Child to Receive Higher Compensation Settlement for Crèche Trauma

Posted: July 25th, 2015

The offer of a €15,000 settlement of compensation for a young girl who was psychologically traumatised at a crèche was not approved by a Circuit Court judge, who deemed it too low.

Aged just eight months, Emilie Kiely – now four from Sandyford in Dublin – began attending the Giraffe Crèche in Stepaside in 2011. By September 2012, she was moved to the “Toddlers’ Room”, but this seemed to cause her great stress and anxiety. In the morning, her parents would notice her becoming very upset as they prepared to take her to crèche.

Yet in May 2013, RTE aired a documentary on the childcare facility as part of its Prime Time programme. The documentary, entitled “A Breach of Trust”, showed clips of carers in the crèche mistreating its charges, including one minder – who was responsible for Emilie – screaming at the children. As soon as Emilie’s parents saw this, they withdrew Emilie from the facility.

Upon seeking legal counsel, Emilie’s father, John, made a claim for psychological trauma on behalf of his daughter. In the claim, he alleged that Emilie’s change in behaviour was a direct consequence of her movement to the Toddlers’ Room. She would cry “No crèche” in the morning and had experienced terror, extreme upset and trauma in the facility. He alleged that he childcare facility had breached its duty of care to his daughter.

Giraffe Childcare and Early Learning Centre contested the allegations, though did make an offer of psychological trauma to Emilie worth €15,000. This was made without an admission of liability, and as the claim was made on behalf of a minor, it had to be presented to a judge for approval.

Judge James O’Donoghue heard the case at the Circuit Civil Court, though he proposed that a higher settlement of compensation should be offered to Emilie, given the extent to which she suffered at the crèche.
Judge O’Donoghue then ruled that the case was to have a full hearing before a different judge. This will impact the rulings of up to twenty-five other claims for psychological trauma made on behalf of other children in the facility against the negligent crèche. Additionally, many parents – including Emilie’s – have commenced legal action against Giraffe Childcare and Early Learning Centre for their breach of contract.

Categories: Child injury News

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