Sunday 28 December 2014

Woman who became impaled on spike at Oasis gig awarded €75k

Published 28/02/2014 | 17:20

Karen McCormack after she was awarded €75,000 damages following a High Court action for injuries she sustained after an Oasis concert at Slane in 2009. Pic: Collins
Karen McCormack after she was awarded €75,000 damages following a High Court action for injuries she sustained after an Oasis concert at Slane in 2009. Pic: Collins

A YOUNG woman whose arm became impaled on a spike when she climbed a gate following a concert in Slane Castle has been awarded €75,000 by the High Court.

Ms Justice Bronagh O'Hanlon said Karen McCormack (27) has been left with  horrible scarring in the accident a few hours after the Oasis concert finished in June 2009.

The judge apportioned blame to Ms McCormack of 20 percent for the accident after she climbed the four metre high gate which had spikes on top of it.

She had sued the concert promoters MCD who intend appealing the award.

The judge granted a stay on the pay out of the award providing there was an immediate payout of €45,000.

Ms McCormack, (27) formerly of Deerpark, Ashbourne, Co Meath, and now living in Australia, sued MCD claiming there  should have been  signs advising people the Dublin Road gate - where she had entered for the concert- would be closed after the event.

MCD denied the claims and says there was contributory negligence on the part of Ms McCormack  who took a "prohibited shortcut "and attempted to get over a locked gate.

MCD contended she passed three designated main exits before going down the woodland track to the Dublin Road gate.

In her judgment, Ms Justice O'Hanlon said not putting up signs about the Dublin Road gate being closed was ill conceived.  There should have been a person at the entrance to the woodland path leading to the gate and at the gate  to alert people, she said.

The evidence was the  600 security men had been stood down by 11.45pm and it was therefore easy to understand the situation Ms McCormack and her friends found themselves in at 1.30am, she said.

What happened was entirely foreseeable, she said.

The judge also said Ms McCormack was not a five year old on a school trip  and there was an issue of contributory negligence in relation to climbing the gate.

She therefore apportioned contributory negligence at 20per cent with MCD liable for the remainder.

Ms McCormack had told the court that when she and her friends arrived at the gate, the only option was to climb over it.

She was nearly down the other side when she had to go back up  and help a friend who panicked.

"I swung my arm around and the spike went through my armpit.

"I went in to shock and pulled my arm off the spike . There was excruciating pain," she said.

The court heard the gate was was originally designed to keep knights and soldiers out at wartime.

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