Grandmother wins damages over mountain bike fall

Wednesday 02 April 2014 15.36
The case was not contested
The case was not contested

A 54-year-old grandmother who fell off a mountain bike on an obstacle course at an Adventure Ireland exhibition in the RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin three years ago has been awarded €37,000 damages.

Brigid Roche of Roebuck Castle, Clonskeagh, Dublin, told Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke that she was afraid.

She had been reluctant to participate in the obstacle cycling event organised by Bike Training Ireland Ltd on 20 May 2011.

"I eventually gave it a go following strong encouragement from a staff member who said he would walk alongside me while I was on the course and promised he would catch me if I fell," she said.

Barrister Michael Binchy, counsel for Ms Roche, said she had been approached by a staff member while she was looking at the obstacle area. 

A prize for the best competitor was a new bicycle.

He said that almost as soon as she got on the bicycle she had fallen off it, banging her head and right knee on the ground.

Her right arm had struck a metal fence surrounding the obstacle course.

Ms Roche, of Roebuck Castle, Clonskeagh, Dublin, said she had been seen to by members of staff and her knee had been bandaged.

She attended St Vincent's Hospital Outpatient Department, in Dublin, the next day.

She said an MRI scan later confirmed she had suffered a rupture of her right cruciate ligament and although no surgery had been required she had to have extensive physiotherapy.

Ms Roche, a bookkeeper, told the Circuit Civil Court she still had difficulty stepping down from heights and was unable to kneel down which prevented her playing with her grandchildren.

She was constantly wary that her knee could lock up at any time.

Mr Binchy said Ms Roche's knee had remained swollen for months after the accident and her injury had not yet fully healed. 

Ms Roche sued the obstacle course organiser Bike Training Ireland Ltd, with a registered office at Taylors Folly, Ballyedmondduff Road, Stepaside, Co Dublin.

Mr Binchy said a defence denying liability had initially been entered by Bike Training Ireland Ltd but had been withdrawn.

He had asked the court to assess damages in what was now an uncontested case.

Judge Groarke, awarding Ms Roche €37,000 damages against Bike Training Ireland Limited, said she had suffered a very serious injury to her knee which had not healed and continued to have a negative impact on the quality of her life.