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'I heard my leg muscle pop in aerobics class'

A woman who tore her calf muscle during an aerobics class has lost a €38,000 damages claim against a leisure centre.

Therese Murray, of Meadow View Grove, Lucan, Co Dublin, claimed the injury had been caused by the failure of the gym instructor to conduct a warm-up session before the class on July 1 last year.

Ms Murray (37), who was also ordered to pay the legal costs of the case, denied in cross-examination by barrister Conor Bourke that she had arrived late for the class and had walked in midway through a warm-up session.

She told the Circuit Civil Court she had gone to a free step aerobics trial in the Lucan Leisure Centre, Nangor Road, Clondalkin. Shortly after it started she heard and felt a "pop" in her right calf muscle followed by severe pain.

Ms Murray said the instructor, Valerie Reilly, had told her to keep moving and "march it out." She had received several sessions of physiotherapy and had recovered in five weeks.

Ms Reilly told Mr Bourke, counsel for South County Dublin Leisure Services Ltd., that she had been an instructor for 10 years and would never begin a class without first conducting a 10 minute warm-up. She said Ms Murray and her sister had joined the class as the warm-up was taking place. She had told Ms Murray to take it easy following the incident but she had rejoined the class.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane said there had been a complete conflict of evidence but she preferred Ms Reilly's version of events. Ms Murray had completed the hour-long class on the day and had walked home.