A ‘dream’ husky dog sleigh experience recently became a nightmare for two Irwin Mitchell clients when on a day trip to Lapland in December 2011.
The trip was advertised as being suitable for families with children, so our clients were looking forward to a magical, but safe trip – including a husky sleigh ride which began shortly after arriving in Lapland.
Our clients were directed to sit on the sleigh, with the driver controlling the sleigh from the back. This was the first time that both clients had experienced a husky sleigh ride and they were surprised that they were given no instructions prior to the experience commencing.
As the ride began, the dogs were ordered to ‘mush’, at which point they set off at a fast rate. The sleigh jerked from side to side as a result of how fast the dogs were travelling, which alarmed our clients as the ride continued to pick up speed. Eventually, the dogs began to pull the ride off course as it appeared that the driver had lost control of the sleigh.
By this point the sleigh was violently out of control, and the dogs surged up an embankment, leaving the track altogether. As a result of this the driver, for reasons unknown, decided to abandon the sleigh and the sleigh flipped and catapulted our clients into the trees on the embankment.
Both clients spent the rest of their day in the local Lapland hospital, one sustaining severe bruising and injuries to his ribs whilst his partner sustained two black eyes, severe bruising to her body, limbs and face, deep lacerations to her face, whiplash, a fractured nose and a double fracture to her right arm.
The Christmas and New Year period was also ruined for the family as a result of the accident.
As a result of the injuries sustained, one of our clients is still unable to drive, unable to work and requires care and assistance from family and friends. She is continuing to receive medical treatment and physiotherapy, and has recently begun a course of counselling to help her overcome the ordeal.
Irwin Mitchell's specialist International Travel Litigation team are acting on behalf of the clients in order to help them gain compensation for the injuries sustained as part of their ordeal
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