Case

SUCCESSFUL DEFENCE OF MULTI-VEHICLE, COMPLEX RTA CLAIM INVOLVING EMERGENCY REACTIONS, TRIED REMOTELY

11th March 2021

Practice Areas

Personal Injury

Alex Glassbrook appeared as counsel for a defendant driver who took emergency evasive action then faced a claim in negligence, after another driver lost control of a car on an icy road in darkness, and several collisions ensued.

Alex (instructed by Michelle Gallagher of Horwich Farrelly) appeared at the liability trial for a defendant driver who was faced with an oncoming, out-of-control vehicle, on an isolated and unlit A-road, in darkness and in black ice conditions.  The Defendant took emergency evasive action but was unable to avoid collision with a road barrier and the oncoming vehicle.

The several evidential difficulties of the trial arose from the darkness and icy conditions, the distorting effect of those conditions and the collisions upon memory and perception of distance, and the lack of any dashcam or other footage of the accident.  The accident involved 3 vehicles, extensive damage to cars and to road barriers, and vehicles scattered over a wide area.

The trial took place in pandemic conditions over several days, using the court’s video platform, and witnesses gave evidence from various locations around the UK.  A single joint expert in accident reconstruction gave detailed written evidence and was examined at the remote trial.

Agreeing with Alex’s submissions, the court followed the scientific approach to memory described by Mr Justice Leggatt (as he then was) in Gestmin SGPS SA v Credit Suisse [2013] EWHC 3560 (Comm), applied the standard of care in relation to situations of emergency and peril from Ng Chun Pui v Lee Chuen Tat [1988] RTR 298 (PC) and refuted a “counsel of perfection” in driving, following Sam v Atkins [2005] EWCA Civ 1452, [2006] RTR 14.  The claim against the Defendant was dismissed.


Related Barristers


Alex Glassbrook

Alex Glassbrook
Year of Call: 1995


Close X

Coronavirus Update

TGC continues proactively to safeguard against the risks posed by the spread of Coronavirus. We have a Covid-19 Committee who continue to monitor the situation and follow advice issued by the Government and Public Health England. We will be updating this page as and when new information becomes available. As of 6 July 2020, our London premises, 1 Harcourt Buildings, will be operating with a reduced clerking team in attendance. The remaining staff members and barristers will continue working remotely. We wish to reassure everyone that our contingency plans enable us to continue to provide our services.

Telephoning us

When calling our switchboard number, it will be diverted to a member of the clerking team who will be able to assist in the usual way. All direct dials in Chambers are diverted to be answered remotely.

Emailing us & Sending Instructions

Please send all instructions via email directly to clerks@tgchambers.com. We would be grateful if this could be sent in an orderly fashion to enable working from a screen manageable. We are able to receive hard copy instructions via DX or Post, if necessary. However, we have a preference for electronic documents wherever possible.

Please continue to communicate with barristers directly via phone or email.

Conferences, Joint Settlement Meetings & Mediations

Conferences, meetings and mediations will take place remotely, either by telephone or video until further notice. Group Telephone calls and video calls can be easily arranged. If an in-person meeting is felt necessary please see our Covid-19 Information page for full criteria.

Court Hearings

We are following the Government’s advice closely, which is changing daily. In keeping with that advice, we will continue to service hearings remotely, where possible and as instructed by the hosting Court. In-Person hearings will be accommodated by members of TGC. We will continue to monitor this situation.

Making a payment

If you do not already pay us by BACS, going forward please make arrangements to do so. Please contact the clerks who can supply you with the relevant BACS details.

If you wish to discuss our policy and procedure relating to coronavirus, please do not hesitate to contact our senior clerk Dean Norton on 07535 753098 or dnorton@tgchambers.com.

To learn more visit our Covid-19 Information page.