A woman who sought more than $476,000 in compensation for ongoing injuries after she was "crushed by a horse" has lost her negligence lawsuit against the Wagga Show Society.
In September 2012, the plaintiff Kerrie Anne Menz suffered facial fractures and multiple traumatic brain injuries after the horse she preparing to ride at the Wagga show fell on her.
Ms Menz requested damages due to a claim that the show society had demonstrated "negligence in failing to properly supervise the arena" which enabled children to startle her horse and cause the fall.
Solicitors for the show society did not dispute most of Ms Menz's claimed costs for medical treatment, current and future in-home care and loss of employment opportunities due to partial loss of vision, damage to cognitive abilities and major depression.
The show society argued that it was not responsible for compensation due to the "obvious risk of a dangerous recreational activity" and the liability waiver signed by Ms Menz prior to the show.
On Monday, NSW Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Bellew found in favour of the show society following hearings in late September, and ordered Ms Menz to pay the defendant's costs.
Justice Bellew found that the risk of riding a horse near potential areas of loud noise or visual stimuli "would have been obvious to a reasonable person in the position of the plaintiff".
According to Ms Menz's evidence, she was riding her horse Sonny "in a designated warm-up area of the showground prior to the commencement of an event in which she was to compete".
"A number of children were nearby, playing and/or climbing on a fence surrounding a greyhound track which was located in the centre of the showground," Ms Menz's claim stated.
"Those children made contact with a metal sign on the fence, causing a very loud noise. This noise startled a horse ... which was being ridden in the plaintiff's vicinity ... Sonny was also startled.
"He faltered and fell onto his right side whilst the plaintiff was still in the saddle."
Ms Menz suffered brain haemorrhages and a cerebral oedema, along with fractured facial bones and a hematoma around her right eye.
Her rib and shoulder were also fractured in the fall, after which she was taken to Wagga Base Hospital before being transferred an Intensive Care Unit in Sydney.
When contacted, the show society referred The Daily Advertiser to the Agricultural Societies Council of NSW, which in turn declined to comment.
Ms Menz's solicitors, Commins Hendriks, were approached for comment before publication.
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