Girl attacked by Rottweiler secures damages of €150,000

© The irish

A young girl who was “thrown around like a rag doll” during an attack by a Rottweiler dog has settled her High Court action for €150,000.

Lauren Kelly suffered injuries to her arm, leaving her with significant scarring , during the incident which happened on the public road when she was aged just nine.

She was attacked and mauled by the dog as she went ‘Hunting the Wren’ with friends on St Stephen’s Day 2011.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told Lauren’s mother, Marcella Kelly, ran to her daughter’s assistance and threw herself on top of the child in an effort to protect her.

Through her father, Michael Kelly, Abbey Court, Abbeylara, Co Longford, Lauren, now aged 12, sued William Crawford, Cloonaghmore, Abbeylara, Co Longford, who was the owner of the dog, for negligence.

It was claimed the dog was allowed to escape or to stray on to the public road in circumstances where he attacked Lauren as she lawfully walked along the road. It was further claimed no steps were taken to ensure the dog could not escape by jumping a wall.

The claims were denied.

Lauren, it was claimed was bitten on the arm numerous times and the dog continued its attack when when the child’s mother tried to protect her. The child was taken to hospital where it was found she had 26 puncture wounds and multiple injuries to her right upper arm. She had to undergo skin grafts and has been left with over twenty scars on her right arm.

Counsel Willie Penrose, for Lauren, told the judge the young girl had been “hunting the wren as children do down the country on St Stephen’s Day” when she came upon the dog on the road.

“It was a horrific attack by a vicious dog,” he said. “She was thrown around like a rag doll and had to spend a month in hospital.”

He said the child’s mother had intervened and with friends managed to pull the young girl away from the dog. Lauren experienced nightmares and a bout of sleep walking after the incident but these had receded. She had suffered significant scarring to her arm and has to wear a sleeve while swimming.

“She has a small fear of large dogs now,” counsel added.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Cross said Lauren had been left with significant scarring and was seriously traumatised by the incident.

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