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A BROKEN LEG.

CLAIM FOR DAMAGES.

SEQUEL TO MOTOR ACCIDENT.

At the Supreme Court yesterday an interesting case, involving a substantial claim for damages arising out x>f a motor collision between defendant's motor-car and plaintiff's motor-cycle, was heard before liis Honour Mr Justice Adams.

Hugh John Dyke Acland, stockman, of. Christchurcli, proceeded against Peter Wood, merchant, of Christchurcli, for £2120 17s damages for injuries alleged to have resulted from a collision between plaintiff's motor-cycle and defendant's motor-car at. the corner of Salisbury street and Park terrace on October 9th,' 1924.

The statement of claim set out that on October 9th the defendant drove a motor-car in a negligent manner along Park terrace, and that such negligence consisted in crossing on to his wrong side of the road, thereby cutting into plaintiff, who was travelling in the same direction. This had been done without defendant giving sufficient warning of his intention to turn. The injury plaintiff suffered, was a compound fracture of both bones of tho left leg above the ankle, and as a result of such plaintiff had been incapacitated ever, sinee, and would never again be able to do work on a stock farm as efficiently as before the accident. The plaintiff therefore claimed £2OOO damages, £27 Cs hospital expenses, £7B 3os medical expenses, £l4 16s massage, anaesthetics, etc. Mr A. T. Donnelly, with him Mr F. S. Wilding appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr M. J. Gresson, with him Mr C. S. Thomas, for the defendant.

Plaintiff's Case. Mr Donnelly, in opening the ease for the plaintiff, stated that on the date of the accident both the plaintiff and defendant had t attended the Christ's College sports,'and at the conclusion ' of this function both had left the College grounds ami taken the Parle terrace route. There was a good deal of traffic on this road at the timo, and plaintiff had passed a car containing some friends shortly after leaving the ground. He had seen "Wood's car about Peterborough Street, and had ridden along behind it until t.liey reached the grass patch near the intersection of the terrace and Salisbury street. At this spot plaintiff had been riding along in the rear of the car and slightly to the Tight. Had Wood stopped his car dead, plaintiff would have passed him.' However, Wood had evidently seen some friends standing in the terrace and turned sharp to go over to them. Plaintiff had swung round to the right to avoid the car, but the two vehicles had collided at the corner' of Salisbury street. The plaintiff's cycle had nearly stopped when the collision occurred.. The running-board of the car had knocked over the cycle, which had fallen on plaintiff's leg and smashed it. • The defence was that plaintiff shown contributory negligence. Hugh 'John Dyke Acland, the plaintiff, n stockman in the employ of Pyne, Gould, Guinness, said. he. was 20 -years of age at the time of tho accident. He had been attending' the Christ's College sports 1 on the.i day of i the accident, and had left on his motorcycle after the sports.' He bad taken the route along Park terrace. Ti*v. re was a good deal of traffic about at the time, and witness had first see®-Wood's car, near Peterborough street!, The, car was on its correct side, of tho road, arid witness was riding in the rear and slightly to tho right of it. When near. Salisbury' street Wood started to turn, but appeared undecided as to /what to do, and witness thought the car was about to pass another vehicle. The cycle'turned with the car,, arid when the vehicle swerved shaTply to the right, plaintiff also had to turn sharply in the same direction to prevent Ueing run into.. The car, however, turned too quickly, and . a collision took place. So far as witness knew, tho impact had taken place near the gutter. Wood had given no signal before turning, nor had lie given any other warning. Witness attempted to stop as soon as he saw that something was up. Plaintiff had been in bed for four arid a half weeks. af ( ter the accident. To Mr Gresson: Witness had a certificate of alfhity for driving a motorcar, but not for riding a motor-cycle.

Mr Grcsson: Isn't it a fact that Wood was driving slowly! "Witness: I was riding at the samo paco as he was.

Mr GresSon: Wasn't it a fact that you had passed all traffic on the road since you loft the ground, and also tended to pass Wood's car!

Witness: No. If I had wanted to pass the car I could havo dono it at Peterborough street. I was not doing 30 niileg an hour when I was; behind Wood!s car, but I had done it just previously to pass a friend's car, Drs. P. S f Foster und J. L. A, Will gave evidence as to the extent of tho injury received by tflie plaintiff. Doris Collins, a married, woman living in Springfield road, said that oh the day of the accident she had- been in Park terrace. She had seen Wood's car on the road, and after it had passed-wit-ness saw it cross over from its correct side to its wrong side of the road into Salisbury street. The collision had taken place about the north corner of Park terrace - and Salisbury street. She had not noticed the driver of the car make any signal before He turned, and could not say at what speed either the car or the cycle was travelling.

To Mr Gresson: She had not noticed tho cycle until .the impact had taken place. H. Helmore said lie had been driving his own car along Park terrace at the time of the accident. AVlien ■witness reached the scene some people were lifting the motor-cycle off the plaintiff. Roscoe Harrison, farmer. Little River, said he did not actually see the accident, but he heard it.

Janet Helmore said she had been in her son's car at the time of the accident. She had seen the plaintiff pass on his motor-cycle at the Armagh street bridge.

Motion for Noa-suit. At this juncture Mr Gresson moved for a non-suit on the ground that plaintiff's evidence showed that Acland had been travelling at an excessive rate of speed and this in itself was the effective cause of the accident. His Honour reserved his decision. Dr. C. H. Gould said that in a few years' time the plaintiff should be able to carry on his work as a sheepfarmer. The injury might restrict the avenues which were open to plaintiff, but, on the other hand, it might not. Douglas E. Wariklyn, solicitor, of Christchurch, said he had been driving his car along Park terrace on the day of the accident when a motor-cycle passed him. The machine was going at a considerable speed—much too fasfr, he thought. He also saw Wood's car turn and the cyclist run into it. No other motor-cyclist had passed in the meantime. Witness did not know who. ttie cyclist was. Isabella Brown said sh6 had been with Mrs Collins at the thhe of the accident. She noticed Wood's car pass. It was going very slowly. The next thing she knew was that a motor-cyclist, going at a great speed, had passed them. She

then heard tho crash of tho collision and went- over to thb scene of the accident.

The jury retired at 5.6 p.m., and Returned at 8.28 p.m. with tho*following answers to the questionf which they were required to consider:— 1. \Va s the defendant* guilty of negli- . gence?—Yes, 2. Was the plaintiff guilty of contributory negligence! (a) Was he travelling, at an excessive rate of speed? —No. - (b) Was he failing to keep a proper lookout? No. The jury awarded £750 general damages and £l2O 17s special damages. The foreman said the jury would have liked to have heard Mr Wood's "evidence. '

On the application of Mr Donnelly, judgment was entered. - _ Mr Gresson said he would like time to consider the non-suit point, add his Honour granted the application.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/CHP19250217.2.16

Bibliographic details

A BROKEN LEG., Press, Volume LXI, Issue 18309, 17 February 1925

Word Count
1,347

A BROKEN LEG. Press, Volume LXI, Issue 18309, 17 February 1925

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