Irish girl receives €20,000 in damages after getting neck caught in electric gate at age 7

Irish girl receives €20,000 in damages after getting neck caught in electric gate at age 7

AN IRISH girl has received €20,000 in damages after her head and neck were trapped by a closing electric gate when she was just seven-years-old.

A court heard that passersby were alerted to the situation when Layla O'Neill - who is now 14 - started screaming after getting caught by the shutting gate in an apartment block near her home at Marrsfield Avenue, Clongriffin, Dublin 13.

She had reportedly been playing with friends in an underground car park and was retrieving a ball when the electric gate started closing on her - trapping her by the head and neck.

Her father and a passerby ran over to help and managed to force the gate open for long enough for Layla to escape.

She was taken by ambulance to Temple Street Children's Hospital to be checked for a suspected head injury and was later treated for abrasions to her neck and shoulders and detained overnight for observation before being discharged the following day.

X-rays revealed no bone damage, though Layla's mother claims she suffered from pain to both sides of her neck and to her left shoulder which had been bruised.

After three weeks, the injuries healed, though Layla allegedly suffered psychologically from recurring nightmares and had suffered post-traumatic stress following entrapment that she had perceived as life-threatening.

Layla sued Pierse Contracting Ltd, the company responsible for the construction, development, control and operation of the electric gates, through her mother Joanne.

A settlement of €20,000 was offered by the defendants, which was later approved by Judge Kathryn Hutton at Dublin's Circuit Civil Court.