Biker who suffered injuries in motocross race has High Court case dismissed

John Hurley was competing in the motocross race in a field at Portarlington, Co Laois when he says a bike hit his at a bend, and he was knocked off but as he lay on the track another motorbike went over him.
Biker who suffered injuries in motocross race has High Court case dismissed

High Court reporter

A man who claimed he suffered severe injuries when a motorbike ran over him during an off-road race, has had his case dismissed at the High Court.

John Hurley was competing in the motocross race in a field at Portarlington, Co Laois when he says a bike hit his at a bend, and he was knocked off but as he lay on the track another motorbike went over him.

Mr Hurley, who blacked out, suffered fractures to his pelvis and spent several weeks in hospital afterwards and months on crutches.

Ms Justice Mary Rose Gearty said there was no question of dishonesty in the way the case was presented.

She had every sympathy for Mr Hurley, but said he had not proven that there was negligence on the part of the defendant which caused the accident, or the traumatic injuries he undoubtedly suffered.

John Hurley (43), Tullow Road, Carlow had 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.

The Hurley side contended that a race Marshal should have been at the first bend where the accident occurred.

Mr Hurley claimed 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.

Risk assessment

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

YMSA Limited denied all the claims, and contended Mr Hurley was partly responsible in that he allegedly drove his bike in a careless or inattentive manner. It further alleged Mr Hurley failed to keep a proper lookout, and that he voluntarily assumed the risk of participating in a bike race.

Ms Justice Gearty, after hearing the case over two days, said while Mr Hurley gave the best account, he could have about what had occurred and naturally could not see behind him.

The judge said she was satisfied there were riders immediately behind Mr. Hurley when he came around the bend, still at speed, in circumstances where everyone was trying to get around the bend and accelerate into the straight.

Ms Justice Gearty said the most significant evidence was from the two experts called in the case.

She said she preferred the evidence of the expert who had visited the site and who had a lengthy experience of taking part in the sport and managing such sites.

Ms Justice Gearty said his clear evidence was that he would not have put a marshal at the first bend in this field, and she accepted this.

She also noted he gave evidence that if a marshal had been at that bend, it would have made no difference to the accident happening.

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