Wheelchair-bound groom wins compensation

  • A groom facing life in a wheelchair after he was kicked in the head by a horse has won a compensation payout at London’s High Court.

    Robert Lacey, 52, suffered injuries causing “permanent disabilities” while treating a Thoroughbred named My Way at Newgate Stud near Gillingham, Dorset, in August 2001.

    Last Tuesday, on the second day of the hearing, the stud settled Mr Lacey’s claim without admission of liability and on confidential terms. Given the severity of Mr Lacey’s injuries, his payout is likely to be substantial. Millions of pounds have been awarded in similar cases.

    Mr Lacey, of Yeovil, Somerset, “lost the job he loved” as a result of his injuries, his QC, Susan Rodway, earlier told Mr Justice McKinnon. She said he had no recollection of the accident and events had to be pieced together by looking into his work routine.

    Miss Rodway said the accident occurred as Mr Lacey was treating My Way while another horse, Dayanata, stood close by. Dayanata probably lashed out as Mr Lacey treated a hindleg of My Way, said the QC.

    The horses’ handlers, she claimed, failed to keep them far enough apart to prevent such an accident. But Newgate Stud Company maintained there was no deficiency in its system of work and that it was a tragic accident.

  • This news article was first published in Horse & Hound (31 March ’05)

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