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Re: [greenwichcyclists] Smith v Finch - Cycle Helmets - important legal decision.

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  • roger stocker
    More information at http://www.ctc.org.uk/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=5180 Roger On 11/03/2009, timothy.deal@btinternet.com
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 12, 2009
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      On 11/03/2009, timothy.deal@... <timothy.deal@...> wrote:

      I am new to the group but have been aware of the Judgment in Smith v Finch [2009] EWCH 53(QB) handed down by Mr Justice Griffith Williams on 22 Jan 2009, and the potential implications of this judgment may be wideranging and certainly worth considering.

      The facts of the case were that on a summer's evening in 2005 Mr Smith was cycling from his home to another house in Brightlinsea Essex. Just before he arrived at his destination he was hit by a motorcycle ridden by Mr Finch and as a consequence sustained a serious traumatic brain injury.

      Mr Smith was not wearing a cycle helmet and Mr Finch argued that that made him at fault and partly responsible for his brain damage. Mr Smith's damages were not reduced as Mr Finch was unable to prove that a helmet would have made a difference.

      However the point for concern is that the Judge went further than in previous Court decisions relting to cycle helmets when he said:

      It matters not that there is no legal compulsion for cyclists to wear helmets and so a cyclist is free to choose whether or not to wear one because there can be no doubt that the failure to wear a helmet may expose the cyclist to the risk of greater injury; such a failure would not be "a sensible thing to do" and so, subject to issues of causation, any injury sustained may be the cyclist's own fault and "he has only himself to thank for the consequences".

      Tim Deal
      Shooters Hill

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