Twenty-two settlements of compensation for negligent care at a crèche have been approved at the High Court. The settlements amounting to more than €1 million.
In May 2013, RTÉ broadcast a documentary – “Breach of Trust” – after an investigation into the Links Abington Creche in Malahide, Dublin. The documentary revealed a poor standard of care at the crèche, with several recorded incidents of physical and verbal abuse against the pre-school children in the creche´s care.
Following the broadcast, the parents of twenty-two of the children sought legal advice and claimed compensation for negligent care at a crèche on behalf of their children against Links crèche Southside Ltd, Links crèche Montessori Ltd, and the owners of the Abington crèche – Padraig and Deidre Kelly. The parents also compensation claims for the mental stress they had suffered.
The defendants entered a defence against the claims for compensation; but, at the High Court, Mr Justice Kevin Cross heard that the parents´ compensation claims for mental stress had been settled out-of-court, and that offers of compensation for negligent care at a crèche had been made in respect of the children´s claims without an admission of liability.
The offers of settlement were divided into three categories. Children who had been physically or verbally abused during the broadcast of the documentary were offered up to €75,000. Children who had been in the vicinity of those who had been abused were offered lesser amounts, while those who were present at the time of the alleged abuse, but not shown in the broadcast, were offered amounts of compensation for negligent care at a crèche starting from €40,000.
Judge Cross was told that many of the children had developed “behavioural difficulties” – especially around nappy changing time – prior to being removed from the crèche by their parents. The barrister representing the children told the judge that none of the children appear to have suffered any long-term consequences due to the alleged negligence. The judge than approved the offers of compensation for negligent care at a crèche.