Claim for Pony Injury Compensation Settled

A woman, who injured her wrist after falling off a pony during a weekend away, has settled her claim for compensation with the owners of a riding school.

On the 15th July 2013, Maria Gray – a thirty-five year-old dentist from Belfast – had travelled to Galway with a group of friends as part of a hen weekend. As part of the trip, the group went to Fenney’s Riding School in Thonabrocky. Though the excursion was initially without incident, as the ponies started down a steep incline, Maria’s pony gave way and Maria fell to the ground.

As a result of the fall, Maria sustained a laceration to her chin and damage to her wrist. Maria was taken to hospital, where her cuts were treated and stitched. However, she now has a permanent scar that she claims in visible to all of her patients. Despite the treatment, Maria’s injury became worse and she had to have eight weeks of physiotherapy. Whilst she was undergoing the therapy, Maria was unable to work as the splint that she had on her arm stopped her from returning to work.

Maria sought legal counsel before proceeding to make a claim for pony ride compensation against Gerard and Siobhan Feeney, the owners of the riding centre. In her claim, Maria alleged that the pony assigned to her was too small. She was just over five foot eight inches, and she claims that the pony was only suitable for those under the age of fourteen. Maria also alleges that she was not adequately instructed on how to safely ride the animal.

However, the owners of the riding centre denied that they had not provided an adequately sized pony for Maria. They also claim that they had offered Maria a larger animal, but she declines the opportunity to change. As the Feeneys did not consent to the Injuries Board’s request to investigate Maria’s claim, she went to the courts to seek compensation.

Earlier this month, the hearing to determine liability was heard at the High Court by Mr Justice Raymond Fullam. Maria testified to her belief that the pony with which she had been provided had already been on a trek that day. As the day in question was very hot, the animal was hungry and tired, and consequently kept stopping to eat grade. She also reaffirmed her belief that the pony was too small for someone of her size and stature.

However, before the hearing recommenced the next day, the court was informed that the parties had reached an agreement and that the claim for pony injury compensation could be struck.

Child Compensated for Luas Injuries

A five-figure settlement of compensation has been approved by the Circuit Court on behalf of a young girl injured by the Luas in Dublin.

The accident occurred on the 14th February 2008 when Aoife Heron, then aged six, was boarding the Luas at Connelly Station with her mother. Aoife’s mother, Elaine, was attempting to get a buggy with Aoife’s younger sister onto the tram, though didn’t manage to get in before the doors began to close.

This momentarily trapped the buggy, though the doors soon reopened. However, as Aoife tried to alight from the Luas and rejoin her mother, the doors closed again – this time, trapping little Aoife’s head.

Aoife’s head injury was treated by an emergency ambulance crew at Connelly Station. Her mother later brought her to the family’s GP. The doctor diagnosed Aoife with soft tissue damage and extensive bruising. Since the accident, Aoife has developed a fear of travelling on the Luas, and also has a scar on her head. According to her GP, Aoife may need therapy in the future to help her overcome the phobia.

Acting on her daughter’s behalf, Elaine made a claim for personal injury compensation against Veolia Transport Dublin Light Rai Ltd, the company which operates the Luas, for breach of duty and negligence resulting in injury.

Though the company denied that they were liable for Aoife’s injury, and prepared a full legal defence, they agreed to negotiate a settlement of compensation with the Heron family. Eventually, a €25,000 settlement was agreed upon.

The settlement proceeded to the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin for approval by Mr Justice Raymond Graorke, who is also the President of the Court. Judge Groarke approved the settlement for the now thirteen year old Aoife, though he ruled that the settlement will be held in court funds until Aoife reaches the age of eighteen.