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  1. #1
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    Teacher who was staring at her phone and hit by a cyclist win compensation.


    0 Not allowed!
    Cyclists must be prepared' says judge.

    The tide it turning. Cyclists to be given some responsibility.


    A yoga teacher who stepped out in the road while looking at her phone before being wiped out by a cyclist has won compensation expected to reach thousands of pounds.

    Gemma Brushett, 28, has successfully sued Robert Hazeldean after she was knocked down in central London during rush hour in July 2015.

    The yoga expert was staring at her mobile as she suddenly walked out from the crowded pavement into the road, the Central London County Court heard.

    Mr Hazeldean had come through a green traffic light, and had sounded a loud airhorn attached to his bike, as well as shouting, swerving and braking in a bid to avoid the pedestrian - but ploughed into her at up to 15mph.

    But in a significant ruling judge Shanti Mauger said Mr Hazeldean was liable to pay her compensation because 'cyclists must be prepared at all times for people to behave in unexpected ways.'

    He said: 'Mr Hazeldean did fall below the level to be expected of a reasonably competent cyclist in that he did proceed when the road was not completely clear.'


    The yoga teacher was looking at her phone when she stepped into the central London road - but the cyclist should have been better prepared to avoid her, the court heart

    The garden designer was cycling home from work when he collided with Miss Brushett as she crossed a junction near Cannon Street station in the City.

    Both parties were knocked out after the crash with the cyclist, from Archway, suffering cuts to his body and the pedestrian, from Kent, being left with a minor head injury.

    But Miss Brushett then launched a bid for compensation, blaming Mr Hazeldean, who now lives in southern France, for the accident and she has won her case three years on.

    Judge Mauger said the cyclist was 'a calm and reasonable road user' and that Ms Brushett 'was looking at her phone' when she walked into the road in front of him.


    But she went on to rule that Mr Hazeldean was liable to pay damages.

    The court heard that Ms Brushett, who works for a finance firm in the City as well as running yoga retreats, was one of a 'throng' of people trying to cross the road at the start of rush hour when the accident occurred.

    She was looking at her mobile phone when crossing the road from east to west, and only noticed Mr Hazeldean approaching at the last moment.

    She 'panicked' and tried to dodge back to a traffic island, but the cyclist, who had been travelling at between 10-15mph, swerved in the same direction and hit her.

    Ms Brushett's lawyers told the judge that she could not remember anything about the crash due to 'post traumatic amnesia'.

    Miss Brushett, who works in the City but also runs yoga retreats across Europe, pictured, often combined with long runs, is expected to receive thousands in compensation +4

    The Government is looking at a range of options to make the roads safer for pedestrians after a record number of pedestrians are being killed or seriously injured in crashes with cyclists.

    In total, some 130 people were seriously injured in accidents involving cyclists last year, and four were killed.

    More than ten pedestrians suffered life threatening injuries every month when they are hit by people on bicycles.

    The issue of pedestrian and pedal cycle safety was highlighted when cyclist Charlie Alliston, 20, was jailed for 18 months in 2017 for knocking over and killing a woman as he sped through east London.

    His victim Kim Briggs, 44, was crossing the street when she was struck by Alliston's bike, which it later emerged had no front brakes.

    Mrs Briggs' widower, Matthew, from Lewisham, south London, has called for a 'radical change' in cycling culture and the introduction of new laws, including the offence of causing death by dangerous cycling.

    In August last year Sakine Cihan, 56, was killed after being struck by an electrically-assisted bike in Dalston, London. A 30-year-old man was later arrested by police in connection with the crash.

    Following the jailing last year of Alliston for the death of Mrs Briggs, the Department for Transport announced an urgent review examining whether new laws should be brought in to cover dangerous cycling.

    The Victorian legislation, originally drafted to deal with reckless handling of horses, was used because there was no cycling equivalent to the offence of causing death by dangerous driving.

    However she relied on the evidence of another cyclist who had witnessed the crash and confronted Mr Hazeldean immediately afterwards.

    That witness had made a voice recording at the time, accusing Mr Hazeldean of 'aggressive riding' and calling him 'arrogant and reckless'.

    Three other pedestrian witnesses however backed Mr Hazeldean, telling police that Ms Brushett was 'not looking where she was going' and that 'the cyclist was not at fault'.

    Mr Hazeldean himself in the witness box said that as he approached the spot where people were crossing, there was a large patch of clear road, although some people were still on the extreme left hand side of the carriageway about to step onto the pavement.

    Ms Brushett was one of these, but having looked up from her phone screen at the last minute upon hearing him shout she panicked and darted back towards the right and into his path.

    Judge Mauger said Mr Hazeldean was 'courteous and mild-mannered' and 'gave every impression of being a calm and reasonable road user'.

    She rejected the account of the crash by the other cyclist, adding: 'The other witnesses feel that the accident was Ms Brushett's fault.'

    'Mr Hazeldean is clear that she was looking at her phone as she was crossing the road,' she continued.

    'Three other witnesses said she stepped out or that the cyclist could not avoid her.

    'I find that she was looking at her phone and I accept the account of Mr Hazeldean that she turned and went back towards the central reservation.'

    But she went on to find that Ms Brushett deserves a payout.

    'When I stand back and ask 'how did the accident happen?' it seems to me that Mr Hazeldean owed a duty to other road users to drive with reasonable care and skill,' she said.

    'Even where a motorist or cyclist had the right of way, pedestrians who are established on the road have right of way.

    But she added that Ms Brushett's conduct as a pedestrian must have contributed to the accident.

    'Ms Brushett must clearly have equal responsibility if she is crossing the road without looking - and if she is looking at her phone, even more so,' she said.

    'But cyclists must be prepared at all times for people to behave in unexpected ways.

    'The appropriate finding is that the parties were equally responsible and I make a finding of liability at 50/50.'

    The result of the judge's ruling is that Ms Brushett is now guaranteed a payout, but will only get half of the full value of her claim.

    The case will return to court at a later date for costs and damages figures to be fixed.
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      2 Not allowed!
      Bloody cyclists
      Top bloke. Top manager. Our best. A club legend. The right call though.
    • #3
      Members Green Cross Code Man's Avatar
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      36 Not allowed!
      Extraordinary. I am not a cyclist and indeed not overly fond of them at all times, but this seems utterly ridiculous. Surely the lady in question should be given the Darwin award as she didn't look, and the cyclist was not travelling very fast either.
      If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice......
    • #4
      Members brightn'ove's Avatar
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      21 Not allowed!
      That is awful precedent. It was 100% the fault of the pedestrian.
    • #5
      Members mikeyjh's Avatar
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      9 Not allowed!
      It's slightly worrying that a pedestrian can sue a cyclist despite taking no responsibility for her own safety - That said, that the cyclist was able to shout, hit his air horn () but not able to just brake and stop does suggest he was reckless. Some people do the rep of cyclists no favours....
    • #6
      #14/15 - 18/19 Goldstone1976's Avatar
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      6 Not allowed!
      “The appropriate finding is that the parties were equally responsible and I make a finding of liability at 50/50.'

      The article says she’ll get half her claim from the cyclist. If he counter claims, presumably he’ll get half his claim too?
      2A
    • #7
      Sanity Clause vegster's Avatar
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      7 Not allowed!
      I'm surprised the pedestrian was just looking at her phone, normally they have headphones on, a cup of Costa in one hand AND are looking at their phone!
      I had run 17 miles from Grayshades before the school leopard caught me.....

      " Wisdom comes from experience. Experience is often a result of lack of wisdom "
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    • #8
      Members CheeseRolls's Avatar
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      0 Not allowed!
      Given the cyclist was also knocked out and suffered leg injuries, you have to wonder if there is grounds for a counter-claim and how this would be interpreted by another judge.

      Got distracted whilst posting only to find this point had already been made.
      "And the beep says goal!" - Jonathan Pearce MotD 05/05/18
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    • #9
      Members JBizzle's Avatar
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      1 Not allowed!
      Not a great precedent to be set here... I get it, she teaches yoga. Why mention it 5 times?
      Eternally hopeful...
    • #10
      Members CheeseRolls's Avatar
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      3 Not allowed!
      Quote Originally Posted by mikeyjh View Post
      This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
      It's slightly worrying that a pedestrian can sue a cyclist despite taking no responsibility for her own safety - That said, that the cyclist was able to shout, hit his air horn () but not able to just brake and stop does suggest he was reckless. Some people do the rep of cyclists no favours....
      AND take evasive action, only she panicked! In the other case referenced the cyclist had no brakes, which is undoubtedly reckless. An emergency stop on a bike, can easily result in the cyclist going over the handlebars. You also don't have a convenient set of mirrors and braking lights, so unlike driving a car, there is no way to indicate to other drivers/cyclists following what your evasive action will be. Given how narrow the cycle lanes are, swerving into the road unexpectedly is also a dangerous option.
      "And the beep says goal!" - Jonathan Pearce MotD 05/05/18
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