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Woman awarded
€275k for being hit
on head by golf ball

A golfer who suffered a stroke after being hit on the head by a golf ball has been awarded just under €275,000 in High Court damages.

Mr Justice Michael Peart made the award against Mary Brennan's fellow Old Conna Golf Club member Patrick Trundle in a reserved judgment in which he criticised attempts by the defendant's insurers to establish that Ms Brennan had exaggerated her complaints.

"I have taken a strong view against that proposition, and it is only fair to say that there was no question about her trying to exaggerate her symptoms," the judge said.

The court had heard that Ms Brennan (56) of The Park, Cabinteely, Co Dublin, was standing on the balcony of Old Conna Golf Club, Bray, Co Wicklow, in April 2009 when she was hit on the head. She suffered a stroke some days later.

She sued Patrick Trundle, a fellow member of the Old Conna Golf Club, which she had joined only three weeks before the incident.

Judge Peart said the award was against Mr Trundle only because a claim against the 
golf club had all but been 
abandoned.

He awarded Ms Brennan a total of €274,685, which included €80,000 for past pain and suffering and €110,000 for future pain and suffering and loss of life enjoyment.

He also allowed €25,000 for future medical treatment costs. He said his overall award included €59,685, which had already been paid out under Ms Brennan's VHI policy, and would have to be repaid to the health insurer.

judgement

Barrister Niall Beirne SC, who appeared with Tracy Ennis Faherty for Ms Brennan, asked that the matter be put back for mention on October 8 to allow both parties full consideration of the judgment.

Judge Peart said it was safe to say that if you were standing on the veranda of your golf club on a pleasant April evening chatting to friends, you do not expect to be struck by a golf ball by somebody playing a nine iron to the 18th green.

Her husband Phillip had been playing with 9-handicapper Trundle in a four-ball. No-one had seen the ball heading towards the clubhouse and as a result nobody had shouted the customary "fore" warning.

"Mr Trundle's ball clearly hit the plaintiff's head with great force given the serious injury she has suffered, the effects of which remain with her to this day," Judge Peart said. "It felt like her head had been split in two."

Mr Trundle's insurers had employed a detective agency to covertly film her as she walked her dog and relied on this evidence to suggest she was exaggerating her difficulties.

hnews@herald.ie


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