Man injured at off-road race sues in High Court

John Hurley claims he suffered fractures to his pelvis and spent several weeks in hospital and months on crutches following the incident at a motocross race in Portarlington, Co Laois
Man injured at off-road race sues in High Court

High Court reporters

A man who suffered severe injuries when a motorbike ran over him during an off-road race in which he was participating has brought a High Court action for damages.

John Hurley was competing in the motocross race in a field at Portarlington, Co Laois, when he claims another bike hit his at a bend.

As a result, he said he was knocked off his bike, but as he lay on the track, another motorbike went over him.

"I blacked out," Mr Hurley told the court. "When I came round there were bikes on the ground around me," he added.

Mr Hurley, who is a truck driver, said he suffered fractures to his pelvis and spent several weeks in hospital and months on crutches following the incident.

He told Ms Justice Mary Rose Gearty that he was on his third track race when the incident happened and had ranked in the top three in the other races.

Marshal

Opening the case Michael Counihan SC, instructed by Farrell McElwee solicitors, told the court it was their case that if the race event had been properly organised, assessed and run, the incident would not have happened.

Counsel said his side contended that a race marshal should have been at the bend where the accident occurred.

He added that if a marshal was there, a flag would have been raised and the other motocross riders would have stopped or gone around.

Mr Hurley (43), of Tullow Road, Carlow, has sued the event organiser YMSA Ltd, with an address in Chesterfield, United Kingdom, as a result of the accident at the off-road event outside Portarlington, Co Laois on July 19th, 2015.

He claims there was an alleged failure to take any or any adequate precautions to prevent the accident and an alleged failure to appoint competent and experienced course marshals.

He has further claimed there was an alleged failure to carry out any proper risk assessment of the area and layout of the track for the event.

He has also claims there was an alleged failure to supervise and monitor the competitors in the event, so as to ensure they were sufficiently competent, skilled and experienced.

Competitors of varying standards of competence, experience and ability were allegedly allowed to compete together without proper grading and segregation, it has been further argued.

YMSA Ltd has denied all the claims and contend Mr Hurley was partly responsible in that he allegedly drove his bike in a careless or inattentive manner.

It has further alleged that Mr Hurley failed to keep a proper lookout and that he voluntarily assumed the risk of participating in a bike race.

The case before Ms Justice Gearty continues on Wednesday.

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