A Dublin trial was unexpectedly halted last week after the judge hearing the case said she had suffered a similar accident. The case was brought by a woman injured in a skiing accident, the plaintiff had sued Traveldev Ltd, trading as directski.com, after suffering a severe break to her ankle while on a skiing holiday in Lavigno, Italy, in February 2009.
It was claimed that an instructor left Ms. Cleary “on the side of the mountain”. She had no mobile phone with her and it was 45-60 minutes before a rescue team arrived. She received some treatment immediately and further treatment on her return to Ireland. Her ankle was in a plaster cast until the following April.
But the trial was halted during an opening statement by plaintiff’s counsel who said it was alleged the defendant was negligent on several grounds, including that ski boots supplied to her should have opened when she fell on the slopes. Plaintiff argued she was not asked relevant questions about her skiing experience and other matters before being supplied with the skiing equipment at her resort. It was also claimed the boot mechanism should have been adjusted to suit her and to allow for release in the event of a fall.
As the lawyer outlined the law under which it was being claimed the travel company was liable, the judge said she was unaware until that point it was being claimed the accident was as a result of alleged failure of a boot to release. The judge shared that she had had a similar accident directly as a result of a boot not releasing and had to undergo major surgery.
Shortly after adjourning to allow the parties consider what the judge had said, the court was told by the plaintiff that the matter had been settled and could be struck out.