herald

Sunday 20 August 2017

a 29-year-old unemployed man, whose right leg was lacerated when a pedal on an exercise bicycle snapped off in a Dublin gym, has been awarded €15,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court.

a 29-year-old unemployed man, whose right leg was lacerated when a pedal on an exercise bicycle snapped off in a Dublin gym, has been awarded €15,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court.

Colm Mooney told the court he was taking part in a spinning class at West Wood Club, Leopardstown Racecourse, Foxrock, in April 2011, and had been instructed to stand on the bike when the accident happened.

Mooney, of Rathmichael Manor, Loughlinstown , Co Dublin, said that shortly after starting the exercise, the right pedal broke from its shaft and his foot hit the floor.

He told his barrister Neal McDonald he had then noticed his leg was bleeding profusely. He had suffered a deep five inch laceration to the inside of his calf and had needed to be given First Aid by a staff member.

The court heard that Mooney later that day attended the Blackrock Clinic, Dublin, where his wound was cleaned and closed with Steri-strips. He had been unable to exercise for several months after the incident.

Mr McDonald told Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke that his client had been left with an unsightly permanent scar on his leg.

Mooney sued the gym and the bike manufacturer, Star Trac (correct) UK Ltd, with an address in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire in England, for negligence and breach of duty.

Barrister Kerry-Jane Morgan said the gym denied liability. No pedal had ever failed before and Mr Mooney's accident had been caused by a manufacturing fault in the pedal shaft of that particular bicycle.

The gym claimed that the accident had been the result of Mooney's own negligence as he had failed to take sufficient care. The court heard that Mooney, who had asked for and was refused a free life membership in the gym after the incident, had joined another club since.

Ms Morgan told Judge Groarke that a judgment in default of appearance had already been obtained against the manufacturer.

Judge Groarke , after hearing evidence from forensic engineer David Semple that because the pedals were subject to high stress, they should be dismantled and checked twice a year, said the gym had an obligation to put in place such a scheme.

The judge said he was astonished that the manufacturer had not taken an interest in the case, as its good name and reputation were at stake.

He awarded Mooney €15,000 damages jointly and severally against both defendants, and directed Star Trac UK Ltd to indemnify the gym in respect of the decree and the legal costs.

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