Sunday 18 February 2018

Man who went bald after horse-fall trauma settles High Court against tour operator

AN insurance broker who went bald and lost his eyebrows and eyelashes after allegedly suffering trauma in a riding accident on holiday has settled his High Court 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 the accident in Morocco when he was thrown off a stallion.

Mr Jameson, a PhD student, had sued tour operator Sunway Travel Ltd, Marina House, Clarence Street, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin as a result of the accident in April 2006.

He claimed he suffered neck, shoulder and lower back injuries in the fall and eight weeks after the accident, he said his hair fell out and later his eyebrows and eyelashes.

The court heard he may be suffering from alopecia which means his hair will never grow back.

Sunway had denied the claims and in its defence had claimed contributory negligence on the part of part of Mr Jameson for engaging in an activity with inherent dangers of which he ought to have known.

When the case resumed yesterday afternoon, Mr Jameson's counsel, Declan Doyle SC, told Ms Justice Mary Irvine the case had been settled.

Earlier, Mr Jameson told the court 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 he wore his for the ride out.

He said 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 am not going to get on that horse but the man had broken English and he 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 said he felt as the horse was being led out by another person he would be safe enough. A teenager he said was leading the horse and brought him to the two hundred metres ahead of the group.

"The horse was kicking and hopping and frothing and rearing at the back."

He said the horse reared after a Shetland pony 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."

Before the accident he said he ran marathons and about one hundred miles a week. After the accident, he said he had to stop after sixteen miles when running the Dublin City marathon.

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