Crushed driver wins damages payout

A DRIVER who suffered a fractured skull after his car was crushed under a falling tree has been awarded an undisclosed sum in damages.Injured driver Roger Ratinon sued the trustees of Shrubland Hall following an accident in 1999.

A DRIVER who suffered a fractured skull after his car was crushed under a falling tree has been awarded an undisclosed sum in damages.

Injured driver Roger Ratinon sued the trustees of Shrubland Hall following an accident in 1999.

Mr Ratinon needed emergency surgery to save his sight after the tree crashed onto his car on a wild and wintry December morning.

He spent three weeks in hospital undergoing operations after suffering a fractured skull and broken bones in his face.


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Legal action launched by the motorist was settled in Ipswich County Court – but the deal between 61-year-old Mr Ratinon and Shrubland Hall trustees is to remain secret.

A condition of the settlement means that neither Mr Ratinon nor the Trustees of Shrubland Hall, an eighteenth century mansion which was converted into a health clinic in 1966, can discuss the settlement.

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Mr Ratinon's world came crashing down around him as he drove to work in Claydon from his Pettaugh home.

As he drove down Sandy Lane, Coddenham, the gusting gales proved too much for a road-side tree, which toppled on to the welder's car.

Mr Ratinon realised his peril in the nick of time and slammed his foot on the brakes.

If his car had stopped just inches further down the road, Mr Ratinon would have taken the full impact on his head with very little chance of survival.

He lay unconscious and dying as a passing motorist came to his aid.

Speaking to The Evening Star at the time, the father-of-two said he would be forever grateful to film stuntman Paul Bickers for saving his life.

Mr Ratinon was rushed to Cambridge's Addenbrooke's Hospital after Mr Bickers' heroic actions.

There he underwent three weeks of surgery and intensive treatment before being released to the loving arms of partner Yvonne.

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