The children’s mother made several complaints about dampness in their apartment to Dublin City Council, who inspected the property and installed dehumidifiers. Their barrister, Conor Kearney, told the court that since the children moved out of the apartment, respiratory problems have improved. Dublin City Council had made settlement* offers of €3,000 for each of the children.
Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard the three children attended their GP on various occasions during 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2014 for treatment for respiratory illness. Their mother took the action on behalf of her children and sued the council for negligence and breach of contract. It was alleged the apartment had been unfit for human habitation.
Mr Kearney said that although he found the offers to be low, there may be an issue regarding liability if the cases proceeded to a full hearing. The court heard the damp condition of the apartment may have exacerbated existing respiratory conditions. Judge Groarke approved the settlement* offer.
*In contentious business a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.