Sunday 21 December 2014

Grandmother gets €37k over mountain bike fall on obstacle course

Saurya Cherfi and Karl Merriman

Published 03/04/2014 | 02:30

Brigid Roche at her Clonskeagh home last night. She said staff encouraged her to participate in the event. Steve Humphreys

A GRANDMOTHER has been awarded €37,000 damages after she fell off a mountain bike on an obstacle course three years ago. Brigid Roche (54) said she had been afraid, and reluctant to participate before the obstacle cycling event organised by Bike Training Ireland Ltd.

The event took place at an Adventure Ireland exhibition in the RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin, on May 20, 2011.

Barrister Michael Binchy, counsel for Ms Roche, said she had been approached by a staff member while she was looking at the obstacle area. The prize for best competitor was a new bike.

The court heard that almost as soon as she got on the bicycle she had fallen off it. Her right arm had struck a metal fence surrounding the course.

Ms Roche, of Roebuck Castle, Clonskeagh, Dublin, said she had been seen to by members of staff and her knee had been bandaged. She had attended St Vincent's Hospital Outpatient Department the next day.

She said an MRI scan confirmed she had suffered a rupture of her right cruciate ligament, and although no surgery was needed, she had to have extensive physiotherapy.

Ms Roche, a book-keeper, told the Circuit Civil Court she was unable to kneel down which prevented her playing with her grandchildren.

Mr Binchy said Ms Roche's knee had remained swollen for months after the accident and her injury had not yet fully healed.

Ms Roche sued the obstacle course organiser, Bike Training Ireland Ltd, with a registered office at Taylors Folly, Ballyedmondduff Road, Stepaside, Co Dublin.

Mr Binchy said a defence denying liability had initially been entered by Bike Training Ireland Ltd but had been withdrawn. He had asked the court to assess damages in a now uncontested case.

Judge Groarke, awarded Ms Roche €37,000 damages against Bike Training Ireland Limited, for the injury which he said continued to have a negative impact on her quality of life.

Last night Ms Roche said she only agreed to the challenge after she was encouraged by staff.

"I knew I couldn't do it but the girl there said she'd help me and catch me if I fell."

Irish Independent

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