An ex-metropolitan policeman, who sustained crippling spinal damage when cycling into barriers placed around electrical road work, has been awarded 2.5 million pounds in personal injury compensation at London´s High Court.
Alexander Kotula (27) from London Colney, Hertfordshire, was cycling along Park Street in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, in April 2006 when he fell into barriers placed around electrical work that was being done in the street by EDF Energy Networks PLC and their contractors – subsequently ricocheting back into the path of an oncoming lorry.
The collision with the lorry left Alexander with devastating spinal injuries that mean he will unlikely to ever walk again, but it was alleged in a claim for personal injury compensation that the utilities company was responsible for Alexander´s injuries due to negligent way in which they failed to maintain a passageway through the works.
Judge Simon Brown QC at the High Court heard that EDF Energy Networks PLC and their contractors were conducting the works alongside a busy road, with no advanced warning to pedestrians or cyclists and no safety zone between the barriers surrounding the work and passing traffic.
EDF Energy Networks PLC admitted a breach of duty to protect road users from injury and Judge Brown awarded Alexander a lump sum payment of 2.5 million pounds lump sum, with annual index-linked payments of 30,000 pounds to cover the cost of his care and 16,000 pounds per year to compensate for Alexander´s loss of earnings until retirement age.