Woman settles case with gym after ‘bear-crawl’ wall smash

An English-language teacher who smashed into a wall while doing a bear-crawl at a gym class settled her action for compensation from the fitness centre yesterday.

The case was taken by Camille Evans of O’Connell St, Blackpool, Cork, against River’s Edge fitness centre on Sullivan’s Quay, Cork.

The matter had been due to go into a third day of evidence yesterday.

The hearing, in the first two days, had not reached the stage of evidence on behalf of the defence.

Michael Gleeson, senior counsel, told Mr Justice Michael Hanna at the High Court in Cork that following discussions between the parties, the case had settled. The terms of the case settlement were not disclosed.

Mr Justice Hanna said that both sides had shown great forbearance in reaching an agreement to settle the case.

Ms Evans, aged 41, who teaches English to foreign students in Cork, was at the gym class in River’s Edge when the incident occurred on January 28, 2015.

She had explained in court: “I was doing the position like the downward facing dog in yoga.

“I was looking down at the ground. I was going so fast. I knew I had to stand up. I had run too close to the wall and I smashed into it. When I came in contact with the wall I was going so fast I hit the wall and came backwards. The impact of the wall threw me back.

“I remember I was sitting holding my left arm. It was such an abrupt hit I don’t know did I go on my back or on my butt.

“It was not what I expected.”

John Lucey, senior counsel for the gym, said a cone on the floor, indicating the end of the drill, was more than 3m from the wall and the plaintiff had gone that far, and no further, seven times before she “ran into the wall” on her eighth time.

“How did you crash into the wall?” Mr Lucey asked Ms Evans.

The plaintiff replied: “The first time I did it carefully, tentatively.

“The second time I did it much too quickly. I was in the wrong position

“My view was not straight. My butt was in the air. My feet were going too quickly. When I tried to stand up my momentum brought me forward and I hit into the wall.

“I knew I had to stand up. I did not have a visual clue to stand up.

“Clearly, I misjudged it.”

Mr Lucey said: “The visual clue was the marker on the ground that you had passed seven times already.”

Ms Evans said: “The problem was, I was not doing the exercise correctly.”

Senior counsel asked: “Did you know there was a wall in front of you?”

She replied: “Yes.”

“Why did you not stop?” Mr Lucey asked. “I didn’t have time to stop so I ran into the wall,” she replied.

Mr Justice Hanna said: “You got the head down and went for it pell-mell.”

Later, Mr Justice Hanna said: “In fairness to the plaintiff, if she is doing something wrong she is doing it in the full glare of the supervisor.

“It is up to the conductor to keep control of the orchestra.

“If she is going about it the wrong way and he was not correcting her he was not doing his job.”

Mr Lucey said the plain-tiff was not doing it the wrong way.


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