Golfer who ‘somersaulted’ off tee box loses damages claim
A golfer who broke his right ankle after “slipping and somersaulting” off a tee box during a round of golf at Forrest Little, has lost a ¤60,000 damages claim against the golf club, in Swords, Co Dublin.
William “Billy” Russell told the Circuit Civil Court yesterday that he slipped on an allegedly defective astro turf covering on a railway sleeper used in a set of steps on the 16th tee.
Mr Russell (62) of Belclare Park, Poppintree, Dublin, told the court he had hit his drive and was walking off the tee box when his right foot went sideways and he somersaulted off the steps, landing on his back.
A former president and past captain of Beaumont Hospital Golf Society, Mr Russell, a 20-handicap golfer, told Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, the incident happened on a wet day in May, 2014.
He said he was taken to Beaumont Hospital, where X-rays revealed he had fractured his right ankle. An open plaster slab was fitted to his leg and for 10 weeks he was unable to work as a plumber at the hospital.
He agreed with barrister Shane English, with Ciaran McIntyre of Hayes McGrath solicitors for Travelers Insurance Company, the steps to the 16th tee was the seventh set of astroturf-covered wooden steps he had used that day.
Jeff Scott, course supervisor at the Swords, Co Dublin club, said the 16th tee box had since been moved but due only to a redesign of the course for safety reasons as it used to be too close to the 15th green.
No evidence of negligence
Mr Justice Groarke said he could not find in favour of Mr Russell as the court had not been presented with any evidence of negligence on the part of the club. Dismissing Mr Russell’s claim and ordering costs against him, Judge Groarke said anyone participating in outside activities could not expect astro turf to be like a carpet.
William Russell: somersaulted down the steps and landed on his back