Convict whose horse fell on him loses claim
A CONVICT who was crushed under his pony has lost a €38,000 claim for damages against Bord Gais and a construction company.
Judge Jacqueline Linnane heard in the Circuit Civil Court yesterday that Karl Hyland (24), who was just under 13 at the time, injured his right knee, ankle and foot in the accident.
Mr Hyland, of St Attracta Road, Cabra, Dublin, is a nephew of Marlo Hyland, who was murdered in 2006. The court was told he was currently serving a prison sentence.
He said that on December 3, 2000, he had been riding his pony along Hazelcroft Road, Finglas, Dublin, when it had caught a hoof in a metal plate which had been laid across road excavations.
He had been thrown from the saddle and his pony had fallen on top of his leg. He suffered a knee injury and spent more than two months on crutches.
Forensic engineer James Watson told the court there was a space between the tarmac and the metal plate which would have created a tripping hazard.
Mr Watson, in cross-examination, agreed that the use of steel plate was a standard way of covering roadworks at the time. He said it had not been devised to accommodate horses.
Judge Linnane was told there had been an extraordinary delay in bringing the case to court. Mr Hyland had been a minor at the time and a claim against Bord Gais and South Midland Construction Company Limited had been made in 2002 through his mother, Margaret Hyland.
The case had not progressed until 2010 and had been listed for hearing twice last year but had been adjourned due to difficulties having Mr Hyland brought from prison to court.
The judge dismissed the claim. She said he had ridden over metal plates despite having seen them. She awarded legal costs against him from 2005.
He was sentenced to seven years, with the final two suspended, in December 2011 after he admitted possessing guns and ammunition at his home.