Girl lost hearing after horse fell on her during show

A four-year-old girl suffered injuries, including permanent hearing loss, when a horse fell on her during a show jumping competition, according to a New South Wales lawsuit.

Scarlett Anne Robinson is suing the Riverina Equestrian Association and Equestrian Australia Ltd through her “next friend” Anthony James Robinson.

They were the organizers of the NSW Country Show Jumping Championships on November 4, 2017.

A four-year-old girl is suing the organizers of a horse show after being seriously injured by a falling horse. (A current affair)

She is also suing Charles Sturt University, the resident of the property where the event was held, and Chloe Mannell, the horse’s rider.

In the NSW Supreme Court on Tuesday, Judge Michael Walton granted a request from Scarlett’s attorneys to transfer her civil suit from the District Court to the Supreme Court.

“My general impression is that there is a risk that the amount to be awarded, if the claimant is successful, will exceed the limits of the court’s jurisdiction,” the judge said.

Her attorney estimates the damage to be between $825,000 and $1.02 million, figures disputed by the defendants.

The little girl had gone to the championships with her mother and another child.

“During the event, the horse came a short distance from the plaintiff,” the judge said.

“It is alleged that the (rider) was not in control of the horse.

“The horse fell and landed on the plaintiff.”

Any dispute between the parties concerns the duty and/or the extent of the obligation owed between the four defendants and Scarlett, as well as damages.

The judge said the evidence revealed her injuries included a fractured skull, permanent hearing loss or severe deafness in the left ear, facial nerve palsy/paralysis, contusion of the lungs and moderate traumatic brain injury.

He referred to numerous medical reports, including one from a clinical psychologist who said she suffered a moderately traumatic brain injury from which she has made good cognitive recovery.

But he referred to behavioral and emotional changes that affect classroom engagement, sibling relationships, and social development.

The defendants argued that the medical evidence did not support an estimate of damages above $500,000.

They noted that no physical limitations had been reported by the girl’s parents, except with regard to balancing activities, or her fitness for household chores and recreational activities.

But the judge said the general evidence at this stage of the proceedings supported an assessment by the girl’s lawyer.

This “creates the impression that there is a risk that the value of the damages will exceed the court’s limit of jurisdiction if the plaintiff succeeds in her claim”.

Leave a Comment