An investment banker whose dog damaged a cyclist’s brain after crossing his path has been granted the right to challenge a court order requiring him to pay him up to Â£ 50,000 in compensation.
David Crane, 71, was on his way to work on his morning commute when Carina Read’s cocker spaniel collided in his way while chasing a ball over Acton Green Common in the west London, in March 2016.
The editor suffered a brain hemorrhage when he hovered over the handlebars after braking to avoid the canine.
He alleged that Ms Read, an Irish financier and entrepreneur, had failed negligently to keep her pet under control while exercising her on the common ground and took the case to Central London County Court where he sought compensation for up to Â£ 50,000.
Ms Read denied any blame and insisted the accident was an “freak event” and said her dog Felix only ran in front of the bike because he was “dumbfounded” after the bullet went off. hit in the head.
Last year Judge Patrick Andrews ruled Ms Read was negligent, failing to call Felix back as he pulled towards the path and the oncoming cyclist.
But now Judge Alan Saggerson has allowed the banker to appeal that decision.
David Crane (right), 71, alleged Carina Read (left) negligently failed to keep her pet under control while exercising her on Acton Green Common in west London , in March 2016
The judge told the court: “We all know that cyclists, whether they are on a trail, on a road or on common ground, feel that they have an absolute right to do whatever they want and we all know that dog owners also have the same sense of the right to do exactly what they want to do independently of someone else, and that’s one hell of a conundrum.
The Animals Act 1971: How can you be prosecuted even if your animal is NOT dangerous
According to the Animals Act 1971, when damage is caused by an animal that is not of a dangerous species, a keeper of the animal is liable for the damage, unless the law provides otherwise, if;
The damage is of a nature which the animal, if it was not immobilized, was liable to cause or which, if it was caused by the animal, was liable to be serious; and The likelihood that the damage or is serious was due to characteristics of the animal which are not normally found in animals of the same species or which are not normally found except at particular times or in particular circumstances ; and these characteristics were known to this keeper
Last year Mr Crane sued Ms Read for negligence as well as under the 1971 Animal Act, which her lawyers say only covers damage caused by a dangerous animal.
The ‘seasoned cyclist’, who said he had cycled London for more than 40 years without an accident, said he cycled with caution and at a top speed of five miles an hour when the dog ran behind him.
He said the crash happened in a “split second”, adding: “The first time I became aware of the dog was when he was right in front of me.”
Mr Crane denied that he said he rushed to work on time or was driving too fast.
His lawyer Helen Pooley said he suffered “significant brain damage” affecting his hearing, memory, concentration and ability to drive, leaving him with headaches and impairing his sense of taste and taste. smell.
Mr Crane declared himself “a 100% dog lover” and said outside court that he now walks friends’ dogs for exercise as he can no longer ride a bicycle or ski.
Insisting that Ms Read should be cleared of responsibility for the accident, her lawyer Nigel Lewers told the judge that when she threw the ball for Felix the way was clear.
He said the ball bounced off the dog’s head as he chased him, deflecting him towards the path: “At this point she realized that Mr. Crane was cycling at high speed with his head lowered.
âShe tried to warn him, but Felix chased the ball across the path and was hit by the front wheel of the bike.
“She was doing what she and no doubt many others had done in the same or similar areas: throw a ball for her dog on an open strip of grass and not in the direction of the path.”
Ms. Read claimed Felix only ran in front of the bike because he was “stunned” after the bullet hit him in the head.
She also claimed that Mr Crane was going too fast and should not have ridden on the path as it was prohibited for cyclists in accordance with local regulations.
Mr Crane was on his way to work through a park on his morning commute when Ms Read’s cocker spaniel (pictured) collided in its way
Judge Andrews ruled against her last year, stating: “Having considered all the facts and evidence, I find that, on a balance of probabilities, by failing to recall Felix, which she clearly had the time to do so, Ms Read put Mr Crane at risk of injury. ‘
But Judge Saggerson told Ms Read’s attorney Nigel Lewers last week: “You lost because the judge ruled the dog owner’s duty of care was to avoid actions causing any accident involving injury. . “
Seeking leave to appeal, Mr Lewers argued that the accident was not foreseeable and that Judge Andrews had misunderstood the evidence.
He said: “Judge Andrews made his decision on ‘a misunderstanding of the facts” because he said in his ruling that Ms Read threw the ball out of the way, which was not the case with Mr Crane nor his case.
âThis feeds into the question of probability. There was no foreseeable risk of injury in this case.
Judge Saggerson allowed Ms Read to appeal the decision against her and said he would hear the case himself – “not because I particularly like cyclists or dogs, but because I have read the entire file in some detail “.
He said: “It seems obvious to me that it is for the plaintiff in the first place to prove that he had the right to ride a bicycle where he was riding a bicycle; either that he was riding a bicycle on an authorized trail or that there was no explicit ban on cycling.
âIt seems to me that if the applicant means that he was allowed to cycle here, it is up to him to demonstrate it.
âIt seems quite possible that the application of the argument that this was not a permitted cycle path or that at least cyclists were not allowed on this part of the path could well limit the nature and extent of duty that a person exercising his dog with a ball near a path has towards someone who uses the path inappropriately as a cyclist. ‘
According to court documents, Mr Crane’s claim was for compensation of up to Â£ 50,000, although the exact amount he would be owed if he wins has yet to be decided.