Paralysed biker to sue

A MOTORCYCLIST who was left paralysed after a crash with a fuel tanker is today beginning legal proceedings that could see him awarded millions of pounds.

A MOTORCYCLIST who was left paralysed after a crash with a fuel tanker is today beginning legal proceedings that could see him awarded millions of pounds.

Christopher Shepherd, 24, of Old Hall Road, Shotley, fractured two vertebrae and was paralysed from the waist down in the accident on June 27 2000.

Mr Shepherd's bike crashed into a fuel tanker as it attempted to turn across a blind bend.

A writ issued at London's High Court, and just made publicly available, says he was riding his 400cc Honda bike along the B1456 towards Ipswich as tanker driver Christopher Newman was turning across his path into a dirt road called The Drift.


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The writ says Newman had failed to check the safe route for delivery before setting off. It alleges that if he had done so, he would have realised the manoeuvre was extremely dangerous because of the lack of visibility on the blind bend and the length of time his lorry would have blocked the lane.

It claims if he had carefully examined routes and options he would have approached from the opposite direction.

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It also alleges that if his employers CJ Gough Ltd had properly investigated the routes required, they should have instructed him to approach the road from the other direction.

Both Newman and his lawyers are accused of negligence and of causing a nuisance by allowing the tanker to obstruct both lanes of the road without justification or excuse.

Newman is also accused of negligently failing to keep a proper lookout before his turn. The writ says that if he had done so he would have seen Mr Shepherd approaching and should have stopped his tanker before it blocked the entire road.

Mr Shepherd, who spent months in hospital with his injuries, has been unable to return to his job as a school storeman and is unlikely to be able to work again.

He will need aids, appliances and care in future and suffers depression and pain.

He is seeking provisional damages and asks that if his condition deteriorates he should be allowed to return to court for more compensation.

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