13-year-old Shauna O’Gorman, who fractured her ankle while jumping off a trampoline during a school trip settled her child accident lawsuit at the High Court for €35,000.
Shauna was on a school tour when she attended a gymnastic event at Irish Gymnastics Ltd, trading as Excel Gymnastics, Celbridge Industrial Estate, Celbridge, Co Kildare, and children were jumping on the trampoline. On her second attempt at jumping on the trampoline, Shauna fell as she jumped off the trampoline onto the matting provided. Her father Joseph O’Gorman then sought legal action against Irish Gymnastics Ltd for damages caused by the accident that happened on June 12, 2015.
Legal counsel for Shauna, Sara Moorehead SC, notified Judge Justice Kevin Cross that Shauna believed there was a failure in properly managing trampoline activity, failure to make sure the safety mats were properly in place and lastly a failing to make sure the trampoline activity area was kept clear of all and any obstacles that could cause harm. She added that the children were jumping onto the matting floor, to which another witness added, she believed the mats on the floor were too far apart and made room for accidents to occur.
Irish Gymnastics Ltd and its management denied all allegations made against them and claimed negligence on Shauna’s side concerning her accident. They mentioned Shauna had previously broken her left foot and that she landed on the crash mat in a way that injured her. Additionally, their defence team argued that Shauna disobeyed specific and repeated instructions given to her concerning the correct way to land on the mats resulting in her having the accident.
During court proceedings, the judge was informed that an MRI performed last year revealed Shauna’s ankle was completely healed, however, after the accident, Shauna could not attend the first week of their family trip to Turkey that year because of the plaster on her ankle. She was, however, able to meet up with her family for the second week.
During his approval of the child’s injury compensation claim, Justice Cross said the settlement was a good one and that Shauna would not have succeeded if the case had continued.