A Gortahork woman who suffered scalding to her legs when a hot water bottle split open when she was in bed has been awarded €65,000.
Ann Marie McGee, of Meenlaragh was 15 when the incident happened at her home ten years ago. She cannot wear high heels and had to give up playing football because a hot water bottle split open, scalding her.
The award made in the High Court in Dublin on Tuesday was against the distributor of the hot water bottle.
Ms. McGee told the court she still cannot wear high heels and had to give up playing football and could not sit her mock Junior Cert exams immediately after the accident.
“It was very painful. I had to keep my foot in a basin of cold water all night,” Ms McGee said.
She told the court she had to go to hospital and the skin on her left foot had bubbled up. She later developed septicaemia on the foot and could not wear socks or shoes for two months after the incident.
Ms McGee said she has been left with a permanent scar. “I still can’t wear heels. The rim of the shoe catches on the burn,” she said.
When the case was called on Tuesday, her senior counsel Richard Lyons said she had settled her case against Siopa Niall Ruaidh Teoranta, trading as Mace Supermarket, Gortahork.
The matter before the court was now against wholesale distributor, Peter McCallig, trading as McCallig Brothers at Mount Street, Claremorris, Co Mayo, for assessment of damages only, Mr Lyons said. Proceedings against the importer and supplier of the hot water bottle could be struck out, he said.
It was claimed that Ms McGee’s mother bought the hot water bottle in December 2001. On February 4th, 2002, Ms McGee, it was claimed, placed the bottle in her bed. She got in bed and placed her left foot beneath the bottle, which spilt.
It was claimed the accident occurred through the negligence of the defendants. The defendants denied the claims.
Ms Justice Mary Irvine, who had examined the scar on Ms McGee’s foot, said the young woman had suffered excruciating pain in the incident. Damages of €65,000 were awarded against the wholesale distributor.