Tuesday 26 March 2019

Girl wins €10k after hair caught in wheels of go-kart for an hour

Alannah sued through mum Emma Reddin (left) after she lost some hair in the incident. Photo: Collins
Alannah sued through mum Emma Reddin (left) after she lost some hair in the incident. Photo: Collins

A 17-year-old schoolgirl who was injured when her below waist-length hair became trapped in the wheels of a go-kart has been awarded €10,000 damages against a holiday centre.

Esther Earley, counsel for Alannah Reddin, of Maple Avenue, Ballybrack, Co Dublin, told Judge Terence O'Sullivan at the Circuit Civil Court that lumps of the teenager's locks had to be sheared off in order to release her from the rear wheels.

Ms Earley said Ms Reddin had been trapped for almost an hour while staff worked to free her before admitting that her hair would have to be cut.

Judge O'Sullivan heard that the accident happened in April last year after Ms Reddin, who was on a family holiday at Trabolgan Holiday Centre, Co Cork, decided to have a go on one of the centre's main attractions.

Ms Earley told the court that defendants Trabolgan and Hemway Ltd had not exhibited any warnings about the dangers of long hair with regard to go-karting, despite having done so in relation to other activities.

Ms Reddin, who sued the defendants through her mother, Emma Reddin, had not been instructed to tie up her hair.

Ms Earley said that given the nature of go-karting, it should have been foreseeable that especially long hair could become entangled in the wheels.

The court was told Ms Reddin had developed pain in her scalp and had suffered from headaches for a short period following the accident.


She did not suffer any lasting problems, apart from the length of time it had taken for her hair to re-grow in areas.

Judge O'Sullivan, in approving an offer of €10,000, said Ms Reddin had suffered a very frightening experience, as well as hair loss, and he felt the figure was an appropriate amount on the basis that some contributory negligence would have come into play.

He said that since Ms Reddin would be 18 on November 12, the payment should be made directly into her bank account.

She was also awarded just over €1,000 for incidental expenses associated with her claim.

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