Army corporal suing state for damages over martial arts class ‘definitely would have passed out’ if he hadn’t ‘tapped’

An Army corporal suing the state for damages over a martial arts class where he claims he sustained serious neck and shoulder injuries told a judge he would have definitely passed out if he hadn’t “tapped” an opponent to to free him from a rear choke handle.

Orporal Greg Cahill of Oakfield Park, Naas, Co. Kildare, said Circuit Civil Court Judge John O’Connor heard a click in his neck as another soldier, skilled in the art of ju-jitsu, in the he claimed to be a novice, locked him in a chokehold.

Cahill, who is leaving the army after 21 years of service to live with his wife in their native Poland, said his pain gradually increased over time until it became unbearable.

He told his attorney, Sharbee Morrin, that he had twice served abroad but had not been able to attain the level of fitness necessary to qualify for such posts in the past eight years.

“I suffered a financial loss by being able to save up to €10,000 on every trip abroad,” he said.

He told the court he also had to retire from a marathon with a heavy pack to join the Irish Rangers, the country’s elite special forces regiment.

Mr Morrin, who appeared with O’Connor McCormack Solicitors and set out Cahill’s €60,000 claim, said Cpl Cahill joined a ju-jitsu class at Cathal Brugha Barracks, Rathmines, in January 2015.

He was a total freshman and was held in a rear choke hold by an art blue belt during a grappling incident at the end of the course.

The solicitor said it was Cpl Cahill’s case that he had been exposed to unnecessary risk of injury as a result of the negligence and dereliction of duty by the Minister and the Irish Armed Forces without a risk assessment study.

He claimed he acted as part of his employment while attending the ju-jitsu class allegedly under the control and direction of the Defense Forces.

Medical reports had been agreed between the parties as far as the cause of the injury and the existence of contributory negligence were concerned.

The 43-year-old soldier told Judge O’Connor that after martial arts class, his pain increased to such an extent that he slumped down and could no longer hold his head up.

He had been treated for his injuries at Naas General Hospital and St Bricins, the Defense Hospital in Arbor Hill, Dublin.

Cpl Cahill told defense attorney David Boughton, who appeared with BLM Solicitors’ Catherine Kitson, that five years prior to the ju-jitsu incident, he had fractured his collarbone when he fell off a mountain bike.

He also suffered a shoulder injury while training in the Wicklow Mountains in 2014, he said.

He disagreed that his level of fitness was due to flare-ups from his previous injuries.

Mr Boughton had fully defended Cahill’s claims that the ju-jitsu class was organized by individual members of the Defense Forces on a free, voluntary basis and Cpl Cahill chose to attend without acting as part of his employment or duties.

The attorney told Judge O’Connor the classes were taught by a Diego Delgado Braga, acting as a Mixed Martial and Arts School of Excellence, who had joined as a defendant but currently resides in Brazil.

According to Cpl Cahill, the case was adjourned to facilitate the summoning of a number of witnesses for the defense. Army corporal suing state for damages over martial arts class ‘definitely would have passed out’ if he hadn’t ‘tapped’

Fry Electronics Team

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