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SJP Law Solicitors in Hull and East Yorkshire

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Case Study

Pedestrian knocked down by a taxi in Leeds

Pedestrian knocked down by a taxi in Leeds

Our client was a pedestrian who was knocked down by a taxi in Leeds as he crossed the road in 2009. He sustained very serious injuries including a brain injury. He had no recollection of the accident circumstances himself.

The facts of how the accident took place had to be pieced together from the Police Accident report and some CCTV footage that covered the moments leading up to the collision (but crucially not the actual collision).

Independent witnesses were spoken to. One of these was a passenger in the taxi and her evidence was that she had seen our client crossing before the collision.

Expert evidence was obtained from an Accident Reconstruction expert, Dr John Searle, who considered that the accident could have been avoided had the driver of the taxi seen our client sooner than he did and braked sooner and harder.

Liability was firmly denied by the Defendant and so court proceedings were issued and the matter proceeded to a trial on the issue of liability only.

The matter was contested at a 3 day trial in the Royal Courts of Justice and, after hearing the evidence the Judge found primary liability in favour of our client with a 60/40 split on contributory negligence.

Prior to the trial the parties had each made respective Part 36 liability offers and the Judge’s finding was equivalent to the Claimant’s offer.

In addition the Defendant had made a monetary offer but this was not accepted as it did not, after the liability finding, represent a true reflection of the value of the claim. 

Despite the Judge’s findings the Defendant considered they had prospects of appealing the decision and so leave to Appeal was sought

This, surprisingly, was granted by the Court and so the matter proceeded to the Court of Appeal to decide if the Judge’s decision to find primary liability and 60/40 in favour of our client was right.

There were inevitable delays in this. The liability trial had taken place 24 November 2014 for 3 days. The Court of Appeal hearing was 3 March 2016.

Derek Sweeting QC, who had represented our client at the liability trial, appeared again before the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal upheld the Judge’s decision and dismissed the Defendant’s appeal.

However, due to the pre-trial liability offers, the wording of appropriate Orders and setting Directions for the quantum (value) part of the claim were delayed.

Further the Defendant’s took issue with how our client’s damages were to be managed following this finding. They insisted that the Court of Protection should be involved but our client and his family considered a PI Trust was more suitable.

Independent advice was sought on this point from Counsel and after further court hearings the Defendant relented and the PI Trust could be set up.

Sadly, our client had numerous health issues as a result of his injuries and this further delayed the progress of the claim in terms of arranging medical appointments. He had a number of periods in intensive care with breathing issues and lung infections.

After many months our client appeared to be healthy enough for medical examinations to take place and the parties therefore arranged a number of appointments with various experts.

Interim damages had been secured following the Court of Appeal and these were placed into the PI Trust set up to assist with the management of an award.

This meant that an adapted vehicle could be purchased to assist our client among other aids and equipment.

Unfortunately, our client had further periods of illness and medical appointments had to be postponed.

Our client choked while out with his carer and suffered a cardiac arrest and was taken to hospital. It was determined that as a result of this incident our client may have suffered further brain damage but, in any event, was very poorly.

Urgent discussions late one evening took place with our client’s mother, and Litigation Friend, and urgent advice was sought from Counsel as to the best course of action in the event that our client may not pull through.

It was decided that the monetary offer that the Defendant had made before the liability trial should be accepted, despite the costs consequence of doing so. Therefore a Notice of Acceptance was served on the Defendant.

Sadly, shortly after the Notice of Acceptance was served, our client died in hospital. 

The Defendant’s response was rather surprising. They indicated that the offer could not be accepted and was withdrawn.

This set-in motion a technical legal argument regarding Part 36 and when an offer could and could not be accepted, and when an offer could and could not be withdrawn.

The issue went before a Judge but a definitive answer was not found and the issue was reserved back to the same Judge for further argument.

All of this meant that our client’s mother had no closure.

Consequently Mark Slade at SJP Law suggested to the Defendant that the parties engaged in Mediation to seek to resolve all of the outstanding issues in the case.

These included: whether the offer could or could not be accepted, costs issues following the liability trial and liability Part 36 offers, costs relating to quantum work, value of the claim post our client’s death and whether the settlement required approval of the Court or not.

A Mediation was held on 22 September 2021 and the parties were able to come to a conclusion on all outstanding matters which meant that our client’s family finally had resolution after 12 years of legal action.


Mark Slade

Please contact Mark Slade on 01482 316726

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