Woman sues after stray golf ball allegedly causes stroke

Thursday 29 May 2014 13.37
Defence lawyers have shown the court numerous photographs which they claim show the woman enjoying her social life and a holiday
Defence lawyers have shown the court numerous photographs which they claim show the woman enjoying her social life and a holiday

A woman who suffered a stroke after she was hit on the head by a stray golf ball has launched a High Court action for damages against the golfer at her club whom she claimed struck the ball.

Mary Brennan, 56, from The Park, Cabinteely, is suing Patrick Trundle, a member at the Old Conna Golf Club, of Ferndale Road, Bray.

Defence lawyers have shown the court numerous photographs which they claim show the woman enjoying her social life and a holiday.

It has also shown surveillance footage of her out walking with friends.

The photographs were taken from her husband's Facebook profile and include pictures of her in a pool with a dolphin while on holiday in Dubai.

Ms Brennan told the court she became a full member of the club three weeks before the accident in April 2009, having played there for two years previously.

On the day of the accident she had been taking part in a competition and was later standing on the balcony of the clubhouse when suddenly she thought her head had "split in two".

She had not been warned of any wayward ball and said she absolutely had not heard the word "fore".

She said she did not remember much until her husband was talking to her.

She opened her eyes to look at him, but could not see anything and thought she was going blind.

Mrs Brennan said she was taken by ambulance to St Vincent's Hospital, where she was examined.

She said she felt a "dreadful heaviness" in her right arm, an extreme pain in her head, which was bleeding where it had been struck by the ball, and nausea.

She said a CT scan came back normal, and she was allowed home.

She continued to be unwell and eight days after the accident, she vomited, and returned to her GP, who told her to get to hospital as quickly as possible, she said.

She said that she was “absolutely shocked” to be told by a medic there that she had suffered a stroke.

She said she was told she had suffered a dissection of the vertebral artery at the back of her head.

Mrs Brennan said she continued to suffer excruciating headaches for a year.

She said she was now never without a headache, but that they were generally less severe.

Mrs Brennan said she had returned to work as a child minder, but she was no longer able to drive, due to her double vision and difficulties in turning her head.

She said she no longer socialised to the extent she had enjoyed doing before the accident.

She said she and her husband had been forced to cancel a planned holiday to the Caribbean, and that her injury had dashed her hopes of travelling the world playing golf and scuba diving, having raised their daughter to adulthood.

She said that in the aftermath of the accident, when the pain was at its most severe, she became extremely depressed.

“I wished the golf ball had ended my life,” she said.

During cross examination she was shown a number of photographs from her husband's Facebook profile including a number of her socialising.

It was put to her that she was not wearing glasses in some of the photographs and in others appeared to be dancing.

It was also put to her that she was wearing high wedge type shoes.

However she said she usually removed her glasses for photographs and can be seen holding them in some of the pictures.

She said she was not dancing and the wedge type shoe was wearable because the entire sole was in contact with the ground.

She was also shown photographs of herself while on holiday in Dubai where she is pictured in a pool with a dolphin.

Mrs Brennan said her daughter had bought her the "interaction with a dolphin" as a gift because she had always wanted to swim with a dolphin and could not do that.

The court was also shown surveillance footage of Mrs Brennan out walking with two friends.

She will be cross examined on that tomorrow.