Posted: December 22nd, 2015
A judge in Dublin’s High Court has awarded compensation for emotional trauma to a fourteen-year-old boy after a fire in his home left him traumatised.
The accident occurred when a Hotpoint dishwasher burst into flames in a family home in Kinnegad, Co. Westmeath on the 26th June 2010. The entire Monds family, who owned the home, managed to escape the burning building with little physical damage, though they could not live in their house until the following spring.
One of the Monds’ children, Aaron – who was just nine years old at the time – was severely affected by the fire. He suffered from a known intellectual disability, and the fire exacerbated his obsessive-compulsive tendencies to include checking and rechecking that electrical appliances were turned off.
Henry Monds, Aaron’s father, made a claim for emotional trauma compensation on his son’s behalf against Indesit UK Ltd, who manufacture Hotpoint appliances. AN investigation had attributed the start of the fire to a fault in the appliance, and after the company admitted liability, the case proceeded to the High Court. This was necessary because the claim was made on behalf of a minor.
The case was overseen by Mr Justice Bernard Barton, who heard evidence of how Aaron was still badly affected through night terrors and anxiety around fires. Testimony was also given that therapy was helping to relive some of the symptoms, though Aaron was still anxious that another fire could occur.
After accepting Aaron’s medical evidence and diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, Judge Barton awarded Aaron a compensation settlement of €51,244. The judge ordered that this settlement be paid into court fund unit Aaron reached the age of eighteen.
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