A High Court action in relation to a 17-year-old boy who sustained a serious brain injury when he was involved in a near-drowning accident in a hotel pool seven years ago has been  settled for €2.5m. 

The accident took place on December 24 2014 when the boy, who was unable to swim, was discovered submerged in the hotel pool. Senior counsel for the boy, who cannot be identified by order of the court, Liam Reidy informed the court that the then 11-year-old boy was on a Christmas holiday with his family at the time of the incident. He had gone to the hotel swimming pool, which was in a separate building to the hotel, with his mother. He had been using the children’s pool and the main pool with his mother, as he was unable to swim.

Mr Reidy referred to CCTV footage that was provided from the hotel which showed that the boy had joined his mother in the main pool on one or two occasions, after which she (his mother) had led him back to the children’s pool. He went on to inform the judge that the boy had been in the children’s pool as his mother emerged to get dressed. She assumed that he had followed her. The boy’s grandmother was also present at the poolside and said that she “momentarily could not see him”.

Another man, who was in the pool at the time, found the boy submerged in the swimming pool and he was resuscitated before being taken by helicopter to Temple Street Children’s Hospital where he stayed for nine weeks in Temple Street. Following this he was moved to another hospital for a longer stay.

The legal action for brain injury compensation was taken by the boy, through his mother, against the hotel operators due to the injuries that he sustained in the accident on December 24, 2014.

Mr Reidy informed the court that his clients were claiming that there should have been a pool attendant in place at the pool, despite the hotel claiming the mother had allegedly completed a form accepting she was taking full responsibility for her son when he was using the pool. Additionally it was claimed while using the hotel swimming pool the boy suffered a near-drowning accident and that there had been an alleged failure by the hotel operators to put in place adequate precautions for the safety of the child – such as having a lifeguard on duty. It was also alleged that there had been a failure to recognise that the boy had got into difficulties as he was swimming. The defendants denied all of the claims.

Mr Reidy informed the court that the boy had suffered with a mild learning difficulty prior to the hotel swimming pool accident and this has now exacerbated into a moderate difficulty. It was also submitted in court that the boy completed a remarkable physical recovery and can now walk without assistance.

Mr Reidy informed the court that the proposed €2.5m compensation settlement is 50% of the value of the claim. The Judge gave approval for the child brain injury settlement and stated that there were serious concerns voiced by counsel that the case may not be won if allowed to go to trial/