Man hit by soap box kart settles case for €1.55 million

Retired Army private Donal Walsh had been a steward at the Roscrea Soapbox Race when a kart knocked him violently to the ground.
Man hit by soap box kart settles case for €1.55 million

High court reporters

A man who suffered a brain injury after he was knocked down by a soap box kart after a soapbox race in Roscrea has settled a High Court action for €1.55 million.

Retired Army private Donal Walsh, who had been a steward at the Roscrea Soapbox Race in the town six years ago, was walking back up the hill where the racing had taken place when a kart knocked him violently to the ground.

His counsel Patrick Treacy SC instructed by Cian O’Carroll Solicitors told the High Court the racing where modified karts, which are not motorised are released from a flatbed trailer down a hill had finished when it "was decided to have one more run".

Counsel said Mr Walsh who has compromised eyesight saw two karts pass him on Convent Hill, Roscrea but a wheel then came off a kart which "suddenly and dramatically crashed in to him and knocked him violently to the ground where he sustained a significant blow to the head."

Mr Walsh lost consciousness and was transferred to hospital where it was discovered he had suffered a brain injury.

Organisers

Donal Walsh (64 ) Roscrea, Co Tipperary had sued the organisers of the Soap Box Race, Shane Lee and Eoghan Fogarty, also of Roscrea, Co Tipperary and Country Sports Ireland with an address at Kilrea, Coleraine, Northern Ireland as a result of the accident at the Soap Box Race in Roscrea on September 11th, 2016.

It was claimed Mr Walsh had been permitted to carry out his duties as a steward at the race without receiving the necessary safety training. It was further claimed there was an alleged failure to ensure that appropriate safety precautions were put in place and ensuring public safety.

There was also it was claimed an alleged failure to ensure that the soapbox karts that were participating in the race were being driven in a manner and at a speed which had due regard to spectators attending and stewards officiating at the race

It also contended there was an alleged failure to ensure that the soap box karts that participated in the race were mechanically functional and properly maintained.

The claims were denied, and it was contended there was alleged contributory negligence on behalf of Mr Walsh.

Mr Treacy told the court Mr Walsh suffered a moderate to severe brain injury and has no recollection of the accident.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Michael Hanna said it was an excellent settlement and he wished Mr Walsh and his family well.

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