Tourist, 30, who lost an arm when her dirt buggy flipped over during off-road excursion in Mexico is suing for millions in compensation
- Chelsea Roach, 30, lost her arm in a buggy accident on holiday in Mexico
- She is not attempting to sue the company which ran the trip for millions
A holidaymaker who lost her arm in a horrific dirt buggy accident on holiday in Mexico is suing for millions in compensation at London’s High Court.
Chelsea Roach’s arm snapped off at the elbow and was left hanging by shreds of skin after the £25,000 Polaris RZR buggy she was travelling in flipped over.
Ms Roach, 30, who was taking part in an off-road adventure excursion near resort Puerto Vallarta in 2019, says she effectively had to carry her severed right arm to an ambulance using her left hand.
She could have died from blood loss had her friend not made an emergency bandage from her ripped-up t-shirt, she says.
Surgeons failed to save the limb, and she is now suing Mexican excursion specialists Vallarta Adventure S.A. De C.V., blaming it for her ‘catastrophic injury’.
Chelsea Roach, 30, lost her arm when the buggy she was in while on holiday in Mexico flipped over
Ms Roach had been on a jungle trail in wet conditions with friends when the accident happened
The High Court heard that she may end up having to take her claim to the courts in Mexico.
Ms Roach’s accident happened while on holiday in Puerto Vallarta, on Mexico’s Pacific coast, in September 2019.
She said she had gone on the buggy trip with a friend on jungle trails near the resort when the vehicle flipped while turning a corner in wet conditions following a hurricane.
In her claim form filed at the London court, her lawyers state: ‘The claimant was a passenger in an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) during an excursion provided by defendant.
‘The vehicle that the claimant was a passenger in was part of a convoy following behind a lead ATV being driven by one of the defendant’s employees.
‘As the claimant’s ATV followed that lead ATV around a bend, the vehicle toppled over, causing the claimant to sustain catastrophic injury.’
Ms Roach has previously said that she had put her hand out to protect her head but the buggy had rolled over her limb.
Her lawyers claim the accident was caused by the ‘negligence and/or breach of statutory duty’ of Mexican adventure excursion company Vallarta Adventure, S.A. De C.V.
However, the company is contesting any liability to pay damages.
Following a brief preliminary hearing at the court last month, Mr Justice Soole gave directions for the types of evidence which will feature in the case.
Ms Roach and her friends had been on holiday near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico when she lost her arm
He said it would include questions over the ‘validity and effect of the waiver and jurisdiction clauses’ in an agreement signed by Ms Roach before the accident.
The judge also heard that the claim, currently lodged at London, may end up having to be tried in Mexico if it is decided that there is insufficient connection between the accident and the UK legal jurisdiction.
The judge said he would need to see evidence about the availability of case funding in Mexico and the experience of Mexican courts in dealing with ‘catastrophic personal injury claims.’
Lawyers said outside court that under UK law, Ms Roach’s claim could be worth ‘millions’, but that her potential payout might be much less if her case is ultimately heard in Mexico.
No defence to the action was available from the court.
Puerto Vallarta is a Mexican beach resort city on the Pacific Ocean’s Bahía de Banderas in the state of Jalisco.
It has been hailed as the number one gay beach destination in Latin America and is also a popular retirement spot for US and Canadian ex-pats.
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