Boy injured after bookcase fell on him secures settlement of €80,000

Child left with scar on scalp after he tried to climb bookcase in creche, court told

A child left with a scar on his scalp after a bookcase fell on him in a creche while he was trying to climb up it has secured €80,000 under a settlement of his High Court action.

Alexander Harris was aged four at the time of the incident at N Zone Sports Creche and After School Club in Kinsealy, Co Dublin, on April 4th, 2016.

Through his mother Victoria Jones, a pharmacist, of Portmarnock, Co Dublin, he brought proceedings against Michael Nugent Tennis Academy Ltd, trading as N Zone Sports Creche and After School Club, with registered offices at Posey Row, Malahide Road, Kinsealy.

The case proceeded by way of assessment only and Mr Justice Garrett Simons this week ruled an €80,000 settlement offer for the boy, now aged nine years.


In an affidavit, his mother said her son was under supervision of the defendant’s staff when a bookcase/shelving unit fell and struck him on the head while he was attempting to climb up it, causing a severe laceration to the right side of his head.

He was treated in Temple Street Children’s Hospital where he underwent a general anaesthetic for purposes of washout of the scalp laceration and closure of the wound. A CT scan of the brain confirmed there was no fracture to his skull and he was discharged the next day.

Soon after, he began to complain of headaches every other day, started to suffer from night terrors and also experienced, inter alia, heightened emotional sensitivity, she said.

As a result, she and his father took their son for neurological review and a neurosurgeon observed in June 2016 he had some behavioural issues. The neurosurgeon was of the view in October 2016 his symptoms had by then resolved.

She said a consultant plastic surgeon who examined her son in 2020 confirmed he has a 15cm scar from the crown of his hair down towards the ear and then vertically along the hairline which is mature and not visible from a conventional distance, especially with his hair cut at a reasonable length.

The surgeon’s view was that his post-injury concussion difficulties had resolved and he had been left with a permanent scar on his scalp of good quality and not requiring further surgery.

While the scar is presently thankfully covered by her son’s hair, it is visible if his hair is wet or gets blow out of the way, Ms Jones said. It may also become visible if he loses his hair when he gets older, she added.

In all the circumstances, the parents were happy to accept the statement offer, she said.

This article was edited on April 14th

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan is the Legal Affairs Correspondent of the Irish Times