Dad settles claim for damages in 'hair-loss trauma'
AN insurance broker who went bald after allegedly suffering trauma in a riding accident on holiday has settled his legal action for damages.
David Jameson (50), of York Road, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, told the High Court his hair fell out in clumps eight weeks after he had been thrown off a stallion in Morocco.
Mr Jameson, a PhD student, had sued tour operator Sunway Travel Ltd, of Marina House, Clarence Street, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin. He claimed to have suffered neck, shoulder and lower-back injuries in the fall.
And he said that eight weeks after the accident his hair fell out, and later his eyebrows and eyelashes. The court heard that he may be suffering from alopecia, which means that his hair will never grow back.
Sunway Travel had denied the claims and said Mr Jameson took part in an activity with inherent dangers, of which he ought to have been aware.
When the case resumed yesterday afternoon, Mr Jameson's counsel, Declan Doyle SC, told Ms Justice Mary Irvine that the case had been settled.
Earlier, Mr Jameson had told the court that he and his wife Maria and two children had gone on a family holiday to Morocco.
They were given information on excursions and picked horse riding at a nearby ranch.
On the way to the ranch, the family were offered helmets and Mr Jameson said that he wore his for the ride out.
He had been reluctant to go horseriding as he had no experience, but had been cajoled in to doing so by his daughters.
He said everybody in the group was loaded up and there was no horse for him. What looked like a thoroughbred stallion, which was highly strung, was then brought out for him.
"I said I'm not going to get on that horse, but the man had broken English and motioned that it was fine," he said. His two children told him to come on, and he said he did not want to "spoil the party".
He told the court he felt that as the horse was being led out by another person he would be safe.
A teenager was leading the horse, he said, adding: "The horse was kicking, hopping and frothing and rearing at the back."
The horse reared after a Shetland pony had appeared on the path.
The teenager let go of the reins and the horse reared again, throwing Mr Jameson back on to the road.
"The helmet was tightly strapped; if it had come off I would have been killed. After that near-death experience I did not want to get back on the horse. I flagged down a car," he said.
"I was in very severe pain. I could hardly sit down for weeks afterwards."
Mr Jameson said that before the accident he ran marathons. After the accident, he had to stop after 16 miles when running the Dublin marathon.