A woman, who sustained neck injuries after a crash on a go-karting track, has been awarded more than 9,000 Euros in go-karting accident compensation at the Circuit Civil Court.
Karen Wimpory (31) from Maidenhead in Berkshire was visiting Dublin in March 2009 with friends on a hen weekend celebration whenshe and her friends decided to try their hand at go-kart racing at Kylemore Indoor Karting racetrack.
Having agreed to a disclaimer which carried a warning that motor sport could be dangerous and “in the absence of any negligence on the part of the company” she was participating entirely at her own risk, Karen watched a safety video before climbing into her go-kart for a four-circuit warm-up.
It was at the end of this warm-up, Karen stated, that she and other racers had been forced to brake abruptly because a race marshal had stepped on to the track. Although Karen was able to stop in time, another driver bumped into the back of her kart, pushing her neck and shoulders backwards and leaving with neck injuries similar to whiplash.
After seeking legal counsel, Karen made a claim for go-karting accident compensation against Grovepark Services Ltd., which trades as Kylemore Karting, alleging that her neck injuries were attributable to the negligence of the company. Grovepark Services denied that they were liable and the claim went to court.
At the Circuit Civil Court, Mr Justice Matthew Deery was informed that although Karen had watch the safety video and signed the disclaimer before commencing her warm-up, there had been no instruction given about what to do when traffic warning lights on the racetrack were illuminated.
Judge Deery was also informed by racetrack designer Stewart Cosgrave and race controller Denis Gaffney that, although it was improbable that a race marshal would walk onto the circuit in front of karts travelling in excess of 20 miles per hour, the marshal in question had since died in a road traffic accident and would be unable to provide evidence.
After hearing evidence from forensic engineer Pat Cullerton that the karts did not have sufficent headrests or neck restraints fitted, and that novice karters should have also been instructed to sit at full extension when driving, Mr Justice Matthew Deery found in Karen´s favour and awarded her 9,064 Euros in go-karting accident compensation plus costs.