A beautician who injured her buttocks and tailbone when she was torpedoed from a go-kart during a fun race has lost a €60,000 personal injuries claim against Kylemore Karting.
Alicia Mikielewska, aged 26, a Polish national who has lived in Ireland since she was 18 and who owns her own beauty salon in Portlaoise, told Judge Terence O’Sullivan in the Circuit Civil Court she was flung out of the kart when it collided with a barrier. Friends thought she was dead.
Ms Mikielewska, of Mell St, Kilminchy, Portlaoise, and formerly of Bluebell Way, Esker Hills, Portlaoise, and Maple Lawns, Oldtown Demesne, Sallins Rd, Naas, Co Kildare, said her helmet had gone one way, a shoe another as she was catapulted onto the Kylemore Karting track at the Kylemore Industrial Estate, Killeen Rd, Dublin.
Peter O’Brien, counsel for Grovepark Services Limited, which trades as Kylemore Karting, told the court that a full defence had been entered to Ms Mikielewska’s claims and negligence was denied.
Ms Mikielewska said her go-kart had been struck by another driver on the finishing straight, spinning her into a barrier.
She said she sustained a significant impact to her buttocks and tailbone and suffered soft tissue injuries which, for two weeks, had made it difficult for her to sit down because of the pain. She had also complained of pain in the mid-thoracic region of her spine.
Ms Mikielewska told Mr O’Brien she had undergone an X-ray examination which showed some underlying scoliosis which, in itself, could cause pain. Her pain was consistent with the type of accident that had occurred.
She agreed she had been given a helmet, racing suit and driving gloves all of which she wore and that she had watched a seven-minute safety video about go-karting.
She told Mr O’Brien she had go-karted on several occasions prior to her accident and on each occasion, the video, highlighting the risks and dangers of the activity, had been shown.
She said she had been treated at Naas General Hospital and had been told to take over-the-counter analgesics and anti-inflammatories. She had also undergone physiotherapy.
Cross-examined by Mr O’Brien, she said she had made three previous damages claims against insurance companies, all of which had been settled for undisclosed amounts. She said that in the previous accidents, she had been a passenger in cars driven by others.
Judge O’Sullivan said there were certain risks and dangers attached to go-karting. Ms Mikielewska had participated in the sport on several previous occasions and he was satisfied she was aware of those risks. She had been torpedoed from the kart which, the court had been told, had not contained seat belts for specific safety reasons.
An expert on behalf of Kylemore Karting had stated the go-kart was treated similar to a motor bike or quad. It was safer that a driver be thrown clear rather than be strapped into a kart that may overturn.
Dismissing her claim, Judge O’Sullivan said she had failed to show negligence on the part of Kylemore Karting but he found her to be a genuine plaintiff and refused to grant an order for costs against her.
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