Christopher Sharp QC and Matthew White win multi-million pound highway claim

Christopher Sharp QC and Matthew White, members of our Personal Injury Practice Group have recently successfully represented the Defendant/Part 20 Claimant in a claim for significant damages arising out of a serious car crash caused by a defect in the highway. AC & DC v TR v Devon County Council [2012] EWHC 796 (QB); [2012] All ER (D) 26 (Apr).

Key points

(1) Unlike a pavement tripping claim where it is the precise location of the accident that must be considered dangerous for a claim to be made out (James v. Preseli), when a defect causes a car accident at speed, the state of repair of the stretch of road rather than any one particular spot must be considered.
(2) Whilst a highway authority can depart from the national Code of Practice in relation to inspection frequency (and, by inference, other matters), it must be able to justify any such departure if it is to make out its s.58 defence.
(3) Highway authorities ought to be keen to explore the question of whether or not compliance with the Code of Practice would have made any difference. If they can prove that it would not have done, they have a potential defence.

For a more detailed discussion of the case, click here.

For further details about Christopher Sharp QC and his practice, please visit this page.

For further details about Matthew White and his practice, please visit this page.

If you would like any further information please contact their clerks.