A man left badly injured after being kicked in the head by a horse may lose his right to make a claim for injury compensation.
Geoffrey Glaister, from Horden, County Durham was left with permanent brain damage following a horse fair in Cumbria in June 2004. At part of the fair he noticed that a horse had become loose and he attempted to retether it. However, whilst doing this the horse lashed out, kicking him with full force in the head.
Both Mr Glaister’s wife and daughter, who were attending the fair with him, were also considered entitled to compensation for the psychological injuries they suffered after witnessing the incident first hand.
The family’s injury compensation claim was looked at in March this year, when it was decided that the trio were all legally entitled to claim damages from Appleby-in-Westmorland Town Council. It was decided that despite not being involved in the running of the fair, they had failed to ensure that the organisers had obtained public liability insurance, and therefore had breached their duty of care to those attending.
However, this judgement will now be assessed by the country’s top civil judge, Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuberger after it was argued that the council’s responsibility was far too weighty in this case.
It was put forward that the council in fact only owns the camping area of the site, which attracts over 45,000 visitors. However, the rest of the fair site is outside of parish boundaries and therefore they are arguing that they should not be liable for any accidents that happen there.
Council lawyers said that if compensation were awarded that it would “open the floodgates to claims by anyone injured in almost any circumstances at such a fair.”