Ex-Man City footballer wins £20,000 after son hurt in Dubai accident
4th December 2020

EXCLUSIVE: Ex-Manchester City footballer wins £20,000 damages after son, 6, was scarred for life when he was dragged under road train in a horror accident at Dubai park

  • David Ball’s son Mason suffered terrible burns and nearly crushed under train, court found 
  • The driver of the road train didn’t see the boy because vision obscured in cab  
  • Mason was with his parents and brother on dream holiday to Dubai in June 2018
  • Ball, who now plays in Australia, says £20K won’t cover court and medical costs 

A former Manchester City footballer has been awarded £20,000 after a two year fight for justice when his son was left scarred for life after being dragged under an amusement park train in Dubai.

David Ball has spoken out after his family’s dream holiday turned into a medical and legal nightmare when his six-year-old son Mason was left with terrible burns and nearly crushed by the train in 2018.

Ball is now appealing to the Dubai courts after racking up bills of £30,000 and counting, with Mason left needing skin grafts and too traumatised to face doctors and nurses.

David Ball, a former Manchester City footballer, has been awarded £20,000 after a two year fight for justice when his son was left scarred for life after being dragged under an amusement park train in Dubai

Ball (above on his wedding day) has spoken out after his family’s dream holiday turned into a medical and legal nightmare when his six-year-old son Mason was left with terrible burns and nearly crushed by the train in 2018

Ball is now appealing to the Dubai courts after racking up bills of £30,000 and counting, with Mason left needing skin grafts and too traumatised to face doctors and nurses. Pictured: A road train similar to the one that hit Mason

The professional footballer, who is currently playing in Australia, claims that the family were denied crucial CCTV footage and were put under pressure to sign a gagging clause in return for £6,000.

Ball said: ‘It has been a nightmare. We went to Dubai for a once in a lifetime holiday and now Mason has been left needing a series of operations with life-long consequences.

‘So far we have spent £30,000 on legal and medical bills. My lawyer has said we should appeal because we do not feel the amount reflects the impact on Mason and our family.’

Ball, who went onto play for Peterborough United and Fleetwood Town, was visiting Dubai with his wife Sarah, 31, Mason and then one-year-old Jude, for a 10 day no expenses spared break in June 2018.

They stayed at the 5 star hotel, the Atlantis The Palm, and decided to treat the children to a day out. They were walking through the retail and leisure park Riverland when Mason was struck.

Ball, 30, said: ‘There was nobody around, and Mason was walking just behind us when we suddenly heard him scream and then shout Daddy.

‘I turned around and saw Mason on the floor under the wheels of the train. His legs were between the wheels and he was trying to move but it was clear the driver was oblivious.

‘I sprinted across screaming at the driver to stop and then dragged Mason out. The wheels had burned through his swimming shorts and taken the skin off.

They decided to treat the children to a day out and were walking through the retail and leisure park Riverland when Mason was struck. Ball, 30, said: ‘The wheels had burned through his swimming shorts and taken the skin off’

Mason was given skin grafts (above), which will require life-long care, and because Ball is currently playing in Australia’s A League, for Wellington Phoenix, means ongoing and expensive medical bills

‘He was in pure shock, screaming about his leg, because the skin had been taken off from his inner thigh down to his knee.’ 

When they went to the local NMC Hospital Ball insisted on calling the police to insure a proper investigation and avoid evidence being destroyed such as CCTV footage, which Ball would never obtain.

Mason was moved to a bigger hospital for an assessment, before the exhausted family eventually flew back to Manchester and took Mason to Alder Hay Hospital in Liverpool that evening. The doctors and nurses discovered Mason was terrified of them.

Ball said: ‘When they eventually removed the bandages, one of the nurses ran out of the room and got a specialist who said they needed to get him into the theatre right away.

‘The wounds were dirty and there was a high chance they would be infected. They eventually referred Mason to the burns unit and plastic surgeons.

‘We discovered that his treatment in Dubai was completely wrong. The bandages and cream they administered just stuck to the wounds and caused Mason agony.’

Mason was given skin grafts, which will require life-long care, and because Ball is currently playing in Australia’s A League, for Wellington Phoenix, means ongoing and expensive medical bills.

A criminal investigation found the train driver guilty of negligence for the accident in Riverland, which is owned by Dubai Parks and Resorts, but the civil case would drag on for two years

In November, the Dubai Courts of First Instance found for the family against DXB Entertainments, which owns Dubai Park and Resorts, the driver and his company. Pictured: A road train simialr to that involved in the incident

A criminal investigation found the train driver guilty of negligence for the accident in Riverland, which is owned by Dubai Parks and Resorts, but the civil case would drag on for two years. 

In November, the Dubai Courts of First Instance found for the family against DXB Entertainments, which owns Dubai Park and Resorts, the driver and his company.

Judge Sabri Mohammad Ahmad Bakir said: ‘The vision inside the train cabinet was not clear because his chair was low and the brakes were not intact.

‘He incurred enormous expenses to treat the child in the hospitals and private clinics; the child’s injury has caused him a permanent disability that prevented him from practicing his normal life.’

DXB Entertainments was approached for comment.

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