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Court Rules Compensation for Crèche Trauma is Inadequate

Posted: July 26th, 2015

The offer of a five-figure settlement of compensation for a young girl who was psychologically scarred whilst attending a crèche has been deemed as insufficient by a judge in the Circuit Criminal Court.

In 2011, Emilie Kiely, now aged four from Sandyford in Dublin, started attending the Giraffe crèche in Stepaside. By September 2012, Emilie was moved to the “Toddlers’ Room”, but her parents noticed that she was becoming increasingly anxious in the mornings as her parents were getting her ready to take her to childcare centre.

However, in May 2013, RTE’s PrimeTime aired a documentary entitled “A Breach of Trust” that exposed employees in the childcare centre mistreating children in their care. The footage included a clip of one of the employees, who was also responsible for Emilie, screaming at the toddlers. As soon as Emilie’s parents saw the programme they withdrew Emilie from the crèche.

Emilie’s parents sought legal counsel and proceeded to make a claim for psychological trauma on Emilie’s behalf. In the claim, John alleged that upon her transfer to the Toddlers’ Room, Emilie would cry “No crèche!” every morning. John claims that Emilie has suffered unwarranted stress and emotional trauma due to the crèche’s negligence.

Though Giraffe Childcare and Early Learning Centre disputed the allegations made by John’s legal action, they offered Emilie a settlement of €15,000 without admitting liability.

As the legal action was made on behalf of a minor, the compensation settlement had to be approved by a judge before it could be awarded. The case was then heard at the Circuit Civil Court by James O’Donohue. However, the judge ruled that – given the extent to which Emilie has suffered and the trauma she has sustained – that the offered settlement was insufficient.

Judge O’Donohue went on to say that the case will have a full hearing ahead of another judge. This ruling will affect around twenty-five other cases made for similar injuries by the parents of other affected children. The Kiely’s have also initiated legal action against Giraffe Childcare for breaching their contract, though this has yet to be resolved.


Categories: Creche Injury

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