“Norway’s toughest” is permanently paralyzed in a diving accident – demands that the Oslo municipality responsible – Dagsavisen

By Steinar Schjetne/NTB

– This is hell. This was my biggest fear and now it has happened. My body was broken from the chest down. I don’t know anything, said Geir Kåre Nyland (32) to NTB the day before the Oslo District Court heard the lawsuit he filed against the Oslo Municipal Government.

The court will now decide whether the city government should be held responsible for the accident, and if so, whether there is any basis for reducing the compensation that is due to Nyland. The issue of compensation itself is not a topic now, but will only arise if the legal system finds that the municipality should be held accountable.

As a result of the accident, Nyland was paralyzed from the chest down, and would never walk again. It’s unlikely he’ll ever be able to hold a steady-income job, according to the 32-year-old attorney, Christian Lundin.

– No amount can make up for my losses and the lost opportunities that I had. The question of the amount of compensation is in many cases impossible to answer. I don’t have a steady job. I’m a top athlete, a young and promising MMA fighter, who also has a well-running gym. Things went awry, Nyland said.

Is “the toughest Norway”

In early summer two years ago Geir Kåre Nyland – winner of the reality series “Norway’s Toughest” on NRK in 2013 and later an active mixed martial arts (MMA) practitioner – was in Sørenga in Oslo with friends. Among many other swimmers from Munchbryggen, Nyland took the plunge. Head first and arms by his side – a warrior’s plunge – he threw himself into the water. Just 140 centimeters below the surface, he crashed into a concrete element holding up a district heating pipe. In a matter of seconds, his life changed forever.

In Nyland’s filing, it stated that the city government should be held responsible for the accident. It was marked with no-diving signs and the water was shallow, but the markings were too poor, according to Nyland. The signs were posted lying on the pier – 10 to 14 meters apart – and impossible to recognize, as they were obscured by other swimmers sitting on the edge of the pier.

Nyland broke his back in the crash and was paralyzed from the chest down. The head injury he suffered caused permanent impairment of his vision. Today, the 32 year old struggles with severe psychological challenges resulting from the accident. He is currently 85 percent permanently disabled.

The municipality refused

– This was a tragic accident for Nyland, but we believe that the municipality is not responsible for compensation. Beyond that, I have no comment. We will clarify this case in court, lawyer Henrik Søvik, attorney for the municipality, told NTB.

The city government refuses any form of responsibility for the case, this can be seen from the city government’s final statement explaining its views on the case. If the court should come to the conclusion that the municipality of Oslo can be held liable, it believes that in any case there is no basis for liability, because “the actual circumstances relating to the Nyland cliff imply acceptance of the risk”:

– Nyland jumping head first and arms at his sides, without first checking the ground conditions or signs, means that the conditions for acceptance of the risk have been met, and this should form an independent basis for release in that case, Søvik wrote in the final submission.

If the conclusion is that the municipality is responsible for compensation, the entire amount of compensation must be deducted, he argued.

– In this case, Nyland’s behavior was the main and dominant cause of the accident, not the design or safety of the promenade, writes Søvik.

Lance Heptinstall

"Hardcore zombie fan. Incurable internet advocate. Subtly charming problem solver. Freelance twitter ninja."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *