Tayside and Central Scotland

Legal claim over baby hit by rolling pin

Alyssa Burns
Image caption Alyssa Burns was taken to Ninewells Hospital after the rolling pin fell on her head

A mother is seeking £100,000 damages after a rolling pin fell from the third floor window of a shop and fractured the skull of her infant daughter.

Claire Burns, from Lochgelly in Fife, is seeking compensation for the injuries suffered by Alyssa, who was aged 20 months at the time.

The rolling pin fell from the window of a Boots store in Dundee city centre in April 2008.

Boots UK Ltd have admitted a breach of health and safety regulations.

The firm was previously fined £6,500 at Dundee Sheriff Court for the breach.

As well as seeking compensation for her daughter, Mrs Burns, 32, is claiming for the effect on herself, including distress and alarm.

'Secondary victims'

Alyssa's grandparents, Henry and Margaret Howieson - who were on the shopping trip - are also suing Boots for £20,000 each in the action at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

Mr and Mrs Howieson, from Ballingry in Fife, are claiming for various mental symptoms.

In the civil action, Boots has admitted liability to compensate for the injury to the girl, but denies liability beyond that - maintaining the other claims are too remote.

The company claims the mother and grandparents are "secondary victims" and that emotional reactions suffered by people in that category do not give rise to a liability for damages.

Mrs Burns and her father had gone into the Boots store in Dundee city centre while Mrs Howieson remained outside with Alyssa in her buggy.

The rolling pin fell and hit the child on the head. She was taken to Ninewells Hospital where a CT scan confirmed her skull had been fractured.

She was also found to have internal bleeding at the injury site.

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