A judge awarded the sum to a five-year-old girl who was injured whilst wearing infant clothing made by the designer label Ralph Lauren.
To celebrate her birth, Amelia Duhy – born April 2010 – was bought a Ralph Lauren outfit from Brown Thomas, Dublin. Ten weeks later, Amelia and her parents – Robert and Julie Duhy of Drogheda, Co. Louth – went on holiday, bringing with them the outfit that consisted of a dress and pants combination.
Whilst on holiday, as she was preparing her young daughter for bed, Julie noticed red welts on Amelia’s legs. Upon returning home, she brought Amelia to the GP, who informed her that it wasn’t an allergic reaction and proceeded to refer her to a consultant plastic and reconstructive surgeon. The marks were identified as “secondary to a tight constriction band”.
Upon this identification, the outfit was sent to an expect in the field of elastic fabrics, who determined that the elastics used by the designer were twice the strength generally recommended for adults – let alone newborns. Julie proceeded to seek legal counsel, subsequently making a claim against Ralph Lauren Ireland Ltd.
Legal representatives of the designer label entered a full legal defence agains the claim, though they also offered a settlement of €17,500 for the injuries caused by the clothing company. The judge overseeing the court case, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, heard how Amelia’s mother had to massage BioOil into her daughter’s thighs for two and a half years until the marks faded.
The judge was told that the clothes had been manufactured in China and that the label with Ralph Lauren New York had been stitched in afterwards. The strong elastic never broke Amelia’s skin, and as such, the judge decided to approve the settlement and closed the hearing.