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Jogger who was hit by galloping horse loses damages case

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Businessman Gary Turner

Businessman Gary Turner

Businessman Gary Turner

A jogger who sued after one or more galloping horses collided with him at the Curragh racecourse has lost his High Court damages action.

Gary Turner could now face a substantial legal costs bill.

Mr Justice David Keane said while Mr Turner was entitled to "every sympathy" for his injuries and the pain and suffering he has endured, the court could find no responsibility, and hence no liability, on the part of either the Curragh racecourse or two sisters whose family have been training horses on the Curragh for almost a century.

The proximate cause of the accident, he found, was Mr Turner's failure "to keep a proper lookout", together with the use of earphones to listen to music, impeding, "if not eliminating", his ability to hear the approach of the racehorses or the shouted warnings.

It was "more than likely", had Mr Turner been taking reasonable care, "he could have avoided the accident by the simple and straightforward expedient of stopping or slowing down".

Pain

While listening to headphones as a jogger in public is not in itself negligent, he was satisfied it did contribute to this accident as did Mr Turner's failure to keep a proper lookout.

Mr Turner, a businessman of Walshestown Abbey, Athgarvan Road, Newbridge, sued over the collision at the Maddenstown gallops on the Curragh plain on the morning of Saturday September 6, 2014. The horses were said to be galloping at about 60km an hour.

Mr Turner was wearing earphones and said he heard the horses approach from his left after he had run past buildings and onto a grassy area but had no time to avoid them.

He believed two horses hit him and he thought he was "dying". He suffered a dislocated shoulder and other injuries, has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and said he is in pain constantly.

He sued two related companies - the Curragh Racecourse and Curragh Racecourse Hospitality Ltd - along with two sisters, Tracey Collins and Sheena Collins, of Cunningham Lodge, The Curragh. The Curragh defendants denied claims of negligence and breach of duty.

The matter was adjourned to next week for final orders and costs.


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