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James Arney KC, on instructions from Adrian Cottam of DAC Beachcroft for Admiral Insurance, acted on behalf of the 1st Defendant, in a head-on collision liability trial. The case was heard by Gavin Mansfield KC in the High Court over 6-days. Dispute centred on which side of the road the accident occurred. No issue of contributory fault arose: the claim was all or nothing. Judgment held that the Claimant had crossed into the 1st Defendant’s lane, dismissing the claim.
Conditions were poor at the time of the accident, giving rise to the claim against the 2nd Defendant, Wiltshire Council, for allegedly inadequate drainage systems in breach of s.41 Highways Act 1980.
Mansfield J. held on the balance of probabilities and on the evidence presented to the Court, the point of impact was on the 1st Defendant’s side of the road. Whilst the 1st Defendant had overtaken a Transit van at speed on a bend, fishtailing in the wet conditions, he returned to his lane prior to the impact with the Claimant. Given that finding, the Claimant must have crossed at speed from his own carriageway into the path of the 1st Defendant’s BMW.
Mr Scott’s claim against Mr Reed failed and was dismissed, with judgment to the 1st Defendant on his counterclaim and costs.
The Claimant’s claim against the Council also failed.