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Jogger injured by galloping horses will pay substantial legal costs, court told

Gary Turner lost claim for damages over injuries sustained at Curragh

Gary Turner of Walshestown Abbey, Newbridge, Co Kildare pictured leaving the High Court during his action for damages. Photograph: Collins Courts

A jogger who sued over injuries suffered after one or more galloping horses collided with him at the Curragh Racecourse is facing a substantial legal costs bill after losing his High Court damages action.

Mr Justice David Keane was told on Friday it had been agreed Gary Turner would pay the agreed costs of the defendants in the case – the Curragh racecourse and two sisters whose family have been training horses at the Curragh for more than a century.

Because the case ran for six days in the High Court, the costs are likely to be a substantial six figure sum.

On the basis of the costs agreement, the judge agreed to adjourn the matter to April 24th.

In his judgment on the case last month, Mr Justice Keane said, while Mr Turner is entitled to “every sympathy” for his injuries and pain and suffering he has endured, the court could find no responsibility, and hence, no liability, on the part of the defendants.

The proximate cause of the accident, he concluded, was Mr Turner’s failure “to keep a proper lookout”, together with the use of earphones to listen to music, impeding “if not eliminating” his ability to hear the approach of the racehorses or the shouted warnings of their approach. Had Mr Turner been taking reasonable care either by keeping a proper lookout or ensuring he could hear the sound of the approaching racehorses or the shouted warnings of their approach, it was “more than likely” he could have avoided the accident “by the simple and straightforward expedient of stopping or slowing down”, he found.

Mr Turner, a businessman of Walshestown Abbey, Athgarvan Road, Newbridge, sued over the collision at the Maddenstown gallops on the Curragh plain on the morning of Saturday September 6th 2014.

The horses were said to be galloping about 40 miles per hour and the force of the collision was such one jockey was dismounted.

Mr Turner, who was wearing earphones, said he heard the horses approach from his left after he had run past buildings and onto a grassy area with a palisade fence on his left but had no time to avoid them. He believed two horses hit him and he thought he was “dying”.

He suffered a dislocated shoulder and other injuries, has been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and said he is in pain constantly. He sued two related companies — the Curragh Racecourse and Curragh Racecourse Hospitality Ltd — along with two sisters, Tracey Collins and Sheena Collins, of Cunningham Lodge, The Curragh.

The Curragh defendants denied negligence and breach of duty, including claims of operating an unsafe system insofar as horses were permitted ride at speed in the area. In their separate defence, Tracey Collins, a horse trainer, and her sister Sheena, an employee of Tracey, denied negligence and breach of duty over the collision. They pleaded contributory negligence on the part of Mr Turner over allegedly running towards a designated 6.6 metre wide gap for horses in railings without checking whether there were horses galloping through and causing or permitting an emergency situation they had no reasonable means of avoiding.