Colin Mendoza successful in trial involving the respective liabilities of a motorist and motorcycle rider in Jones v Lawton (2013) EWHC 4108 (QB)

Colin Mendoza represented the Claimant, Philip Jones, in a three day trial before Mr Justice Burnett. Mr Jones was riding his motorcycle along a main road in Plymouth on the offside of two slow moving lanes of traffic. The judge found he was travelling at or just above the speed limit of 30 mph. The Defendant was turning right in his motor car from a side road and the traffic in the two lanes stopped to let him out. He collided with Mr Jones who as a consequence suffered catastrophic injuries leading to an above-knee amputation.

The case carries particular importance for cyclists and motorcyclists in similar cases, given the Judge’s refusal to regard himself as bound by the old Court of Appeal authority relied on by the Defendant of Powell v Moody (1966) 110 SJ 215 to find either entirely for or substantially for the Defendant. 

The Defendant’s case had been the claim should fail entirely. The Judge held that in terms of causative potency, two features tilted the balance decisively in favour of Mr Jones – it was the Defendant’s motor car crossing the path of the motorcycle which created the hazard and Mr Jones as a motorcyclist was a vulnerable road user. He recognised the same could be said for cyclists. Mr Jones was found entitled to an award of two-thirds of his damages, with a reduction of only one third in respect of his own contributory negligence.

Colin Mendoza was instructed by Alistair Tawse, Associate Partner, of Chris Kallis Solicitors, Plymouth. 

Back to News

Additional Information