Broker alleges hair fell out due to trauma after being thrown from horse
AN INSURANCE broker who went bald and lost his eyebrows and eyelashes allegedly as a result of suffering trauma following a riding incident on holiday has settled his High Court action.
David Jameson (50), York Road, Dún Laoghaire, Dublin, told the High Court his hair fell out in clumps eight weeks after the incident in Morocco in April 2006, in which he was thrown from a stallion.
Mr Jameson, a PhD student, had sued tour operator Sunway Travel Ltd, Marina House, Clarence Street, Dún Laoghaire, Dublin, as a result of the incident.
He claimed he suffered neck, shoulder and lower back injuries in the fall. He said his hair fell out eight weeks after the incident and he had lost his eyebrows and eyelashes later. The court heard he may be suffering from alopecia.
Sunway had denied the claims and pleaded contributory negligence by Mr Jameson arising from engaging in an activity which, it claimed, involved inherent dangers of which he knew or ought to have known.
The case opened yesterday but, when it was due to resume in the afternoon, Declan Doyle SC, for Mr Jameson, told Ms Justice Mary Irvine it had been settled.
Earlier, in his evidence, Mr Jameson said he and his wife Maria and two children had gone on a family holiday to Morocco.
They were given information on excursions and opted to go horse-riding at a nearby ranch, he said. On the way there the family were offered helmets and he wore his for the ride out.
While reluctant to go horse-riding as he had no experience, he was cajoled into doing so by his daughters, he said. Everybody in the group was loaded up on horses but there was none for him. A horse that looked like a thoroughbred stallion, which was highly strung, was then brought out for him, he said.
He had said he would not get on that horse but a man with broken English motioned it was fine, he said. His two children told him to come on and he did not want to “spoil the party”.
As the horse was being led out by another person, he believed he would be safe enough, he said. A teenager was leading the horse and brought it 200m ahead of the group. Mr Jameson said the horse was “kicking and hopping and frothing” and reared after a pony appeared on the path.
He said the teenager let go of the reins and the horse reared again, throwing him on to the road. His helmet was tightly strapped and he believed if it had come off he would have been killed, Mr Jameson added.
After that “near-death experience”, he did not want to get back on the horse and flagged down a car. He was in very severe pain and could hardly sit down for weeks afterwards, he added.
Before the incident he ran marathons and about 100 miles a week, he said. Afterwards, he had to stop after 16 miles when running the Dublin City marathon