The judge said there had been a direct conflict of evidence and opinion
A judge has dismissed a €60,000 compensation claim brought on behalf of a three-year-old child who fell and cut his bottom lip while running in a restaurant.
Judge John O’Connor said yesterday that little Evan Davis was not on a “moisture and dust control mat” – which was blamed for having caused his fall – when he fell and hurt himself in Subway in the Carrickmines Shopping Centre in Dublin three years ago.
Judge O’Connor told the Circuit Civil Court the evidence before him had fallen short of proving negligence.
The judge said there had been a direct conflict of evidence and opinion between forensic engineers Conor McGuire, for the company, and David Brown, on behalf of the boy, as to how the incident might or might not have occurred. He said the court was convinced Evan was not on the mat when he fell.
Conor Roberts, for Beacon Mart Limited, the then-proprietor of Carrickmines Subway, told the court the boy had been running towards the exit and was not on the mat – which was alleged to have had ripples, ridges or ruffles running through it – when he fell.
Mr Roberts asked the boy’s father, Barry Davis, of Beacon South Quarter, Sandyford, Dublin, if he was trying to convince the judge that his three-year-old boy had never previously fallen.
Mr Davis replied: “No, but he never had a fall similar to that one or anything close.”
He agreed with Mr Roberts that Evan, who sued through his mother Sinead Davis, had to have the use of a child’s high-chair while at the table.
Mr Davis said Evan and his sister had run ahead of him in the restaurant and he heard a scream. He said he had taken two photos of the mat afterwards and it was clear to him from the photographs there were about 10 ripples on it.
Evan split his bottom lip inside and outside and was treated with steri-strips at hospital.
The proprietor of Subway at the time, Ifran Hanreeb, told the court staff had been trained in lifting and laying the 2.7-metre mats.
Judge O’Connor dismissed the boy’s claim.