A cyclist is suing an investment banker for £ 50,000 over a bicycle accident he claims was caused by his dog.
David Crane, 70, was on his way to work in a park on his morning commute when Carina Read’s cocker spaniel collided in his path as he was chasing a ball.
The managing editor says he suffered brain damage after he put the brakes on hard, sending him flying over the handlebars.
He claims the March 2016 incident at Acton Green Common in London affected his ability to work and he can no longer drive or enjoy his skiing hobby.
He alleges Ms Read, an Irish financier and entrepreneur, failed to negligently manage to keep her pet under control while exercising it in the field.
But Ms Read, 48, says Mr Crane shouldn’t have been cycling in the park, her dog Felix was in full control and the incident was just an “freak event”.
Left, dog owner Carina Read outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Right, Ms Read is chased by cyclist David Crane (just outside the courthouse), who says he suffered brain damage after his dog slammed him hard, sending him flying overhead of the handlebars.
Mr Crane is also suing Ms Read under the 1971 Animal Act, but her lawyers say the law only addresses damage caused by a dangerous animal and Felix (pictured) was not dangerous at all
In documents filed in Central London County Court, she argues that cycling on the park road was banned by a borough bylaw.
The businesswoman was using a “pitcher” to throw a ball for Felix and was standing about ten yards out of the way at the time.
“She threw the ball parallel to the path and at that point it was clear,” said her lawyer, Nigel Lewers.
“Felix went after the ball and it bounced off its head, deviating to the left towards the path.
“At that point, she realized that Mr. Crane was cycling at high speed with his head down.
“She tried to warn him, but Felix chased the ball across the path and was hit by the front wheel of his bike.”
The accident was not “predictable,” Lewers told court, adding: “Acton Green Common was a public space enjoyed by adults and children, including those who exercised their dogs.”
“Cycling was not allowed. Ms. Read argues that it is not fair, just and reasonable to impose a duty of care on a legitimate user of the commons in favor of one who should not have been there.
“She was doing what she and no doubt many others had done in the same or similar areas – throwing a ball for her dog over an open strip of grass and not in the direction of the path.
“The chance of Felix deflecting the ball past the daffodils and across the path must have been low.”
But Mr Crane has denied claims that he rushed to work on time and failed to supervise properly and pedaled too fast along the way.
He said he had gone home to pick up his helmet, which he had forgotten, but was still on time when he left through the town.
In documents filed in Central London County Court, Ms Read (left) argues that cycling on the park road was banned by a local borough bylaw.
Mr Crane has denied claims that he “rushed” his way to work on time and failed to supervise properly. He insists he didn’t have time to dodge the spaniel (pictured), although he doesn’t go faster than 5 mph
He insists he didn’t have time to dodge the spaniel even though he was driving no more than 5 mph.
He told the court: “The first time I noticed the dog was when he was right in front of me. It happened in a fraction of a second.
He also insisted that driving too fast would have been impossible for him because he was overweight.
He said: “I was very overweight and fast cycling was not something I did. I was 18 at the time.
The editor, who wore a helmet but suffered a brain hemorrhage after breaking loose, also denied hitting Felix with his wheel, telling the judge: “I don’t think I hit the dog.”
He sues for negligence and demands thousands of people in compensation. He is also suing Ms Read under the 1971 Animal Act, but her lawyers say the law only deals with damage caused by a dangerous animal and that Felix was not dangerous at all.
Mr Lewers told the court: “Felix was not dangerous. He was running to catch a ball which it momentarily deviated from its course on Mr Crane’s path. It was an exceptional and abnormal event.
The case has been adjourned to a date yet to be set for lawyers’ final submissions.