Teenager injured after falling while ‘tram surfing’ is awarded over £500,000

Rebecca Kelly was only 13 when her and her friend decided to try out tram surfing. The girls jumped a tram in south Dublin and wedged their fingers in the door to hold on. While doing so the tram started to move, causing Kelly to fall backwards onto the tracks and hitting her head.

Tram surfing has become a popular activity for teenagers over the past few years as they will jump onto the tram and hold on for their safety, it gives them an adrenaline rush and it known to be fun and adventurous. Kelly and her mother, Elizabeth Kelly, sued the Laus operators Veolia Transport-Dublin Light-Rail LTD and the Veolia Transport Ireland LTD after the accident, which happened in September of 2010, leaving her with a brain injury. As Rebecca was laying on the tracks after falling from the tram her friend rushed to rescue her as an oncoming train was arriving.

It has been 8 years since the injury and Kelly’s persistence is finally paying off as she was recently awarded £500,000. Kelly’s claims were of negligence causing personal injury. She was very firm during this proceeding that she did not want to blame the driver for her fall. Her claim was that the tram operator was not able to see both sides of the tram prior to leaving the station. As the operator pulled up to the station, he was watching the platform at the station to watch out for all the passengers coming and going. Her claims containing poor visibility were denied as they said she knew what she was doing was dangerous and she was not thinking of her personal safety.

There has been a known issue in the UK and Ireland for years, and the trams were applied with grease and cameras to prevent this from happening. Regardless of their efforts Kelly was able to climb onto the tram, which unfortunately ended with her injury. Kelly, who has just given birth to her first child only weeks ago, has been open regarding the accident. She acknowledged that the accident was her fault as she was aware that she shouldn’t have been tram surfing. The court applauded Kelly’s honesty and decided against lecturing her regarding the accident.

The Laus tram system had 54 injuries between year 2005 to 2010 which encouraged them to add metal strips to the door so it would be difficult for people to wedge their fingers into the door. This method has been helpful in steering people away from this sport. The High Court awarded Kelly £500,000 for falling off the tram in 2010, regardless of her personal injury solicitors admitting that it was her fault.