Boy Receives PTSD Compensation Following Fire in Family Home

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A young boy has received compensation for the PTSD-like symptoms he had been suffering as a result of a fire that broke out in his family home several years ago.

In June 2010, a fire broke out at the Mond family home in Kinnegad, County Westmeath. The entire family was safely evacuated, and a later investigation discovered that the cause of the fire was an electrical fault in the Hotpoint dishwasher. One of the children-Aaron, who was nine years-of-age at the time of the incident-had been previously identified as suffering from a mild intellectual disability and as a result of the fire, was left suffering from PTSD-like symptoms.

Aaron displayed symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder for several years after the fire burnt down his family home. He became irrational fearful of fire, and would compulsively check and recheck household electrical appliances each night to ensure that they were safely switched off and unplugged.

On behalf of his son, Henry Monds sought legal counsel and claimed PTSD compensation for a child traumatised by a fire against Indesit UK Ltd, the manufacturers of the faulty dishwasher. The defendants admitted liability for Aaron’s post-traumatic stress disorder and acknowledged that it had produced a faulty dishwasher.

An assessment could not be made by the Injuries Board due to the psychological nature of the claim, and a hearing was scheduled at the High Court to consider how much compensation Aaron should be awarded. Mr Justice Bernard Barton heard the circumstances of Aaron’s trauma. He was informed that after years of therapy, Aaron had improved considerably.

The judge was further informed that, for many years after the fire at the family home, Aaron had suffered night terrors and still had anxiety attacks about another fire in the family home. Judge Barton accepted the medical evidence that Aaron´s current symptoms would be described as residual of a post-traumatic stress disorder and he awarded Aaron €51,244 PTSD compensation for a child traumatised by a fire.

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