a FORMER stallion groom at Coolmore Stud who claimed his life was devastated by a kick from a mare has settled his High Court action for damages.
Michael Power (46) sued Linley Investments, t/a Coolmore-Castlehyde and Associated Farms, Fethard, Co Tipperary, over an injury to his left arm from a kick from the mare which had just been mated with a stallion in a "covering shed" on March 4, 2010.
The defendant denied his claims and says he was "entirely responsible" for his own safety and was guilty of contributory negligence.
Following talks, Turlough O'Donnell SC (with Jonathan Kilfeather SC) told Mr Justice Michael Hanna Tuesday (Feb 17) he was happy to say the matter had be settled and could be struck out. Details were not revealed.
Mr Justice Hanna said he was sure the parties were "superbly advised in what was an exceptionally complex case".
When the case opened last Thursday, the court heard Mr Power was claiming that as a result of the alleged lack of a proper safety system for the "covering" procedure at the stud, he is unable to work since because he arm has become "essentially useless".
Mr Power, who lives on a house on the Coolmore estate with his wife and two children, was between the front of the stallion and the hindquarters of the mare after the covering had taken place in a shed when the mare kicked out.
His counsel, Mr O'Donnell, said one of the central issues for the court to consider was whether there was gross negligence in that the mare was not moved forward and away while he was dealing with the stallion.
The incident, which was captured on CCTV, was "an accident waiting to happen", counsel said.
Mr Power was in charge of the stallion, Fastnet Rock, while two others were in charge of the mare, Maryiriski.
Covering is dangerous in that Mr Power has to ensure the stallion does not harm the mare or other people from, for instance, biting, counsel said.
The covering was completed and what should have occurred was that the mare would be moved forward and would be out of kicking range if the system worked properly, he said.
However, counsel said, this did not happen and the mare kicked out. Mr Power put up his left arm to protect himself and while initially it was clear there was a serious fracture of is arm, it later turned out to be a devastating injury.
He has been left in continuing and severe pain and his arm was "essentially useless", counsel said.