A cyclist who hit a woman who was watching her mobile phone while crossing a street ordered him to pay £ 100,000 in compensation and expenses in a case that claims he could put a worrying precedent.
Both the cyclist, Robert Hazeldean, a garden designer, and the pedestrian, Gemma Brushett, who works on financing, were left unconscious after the conflict that hit July 2015.
Judge Shanti Mauger said both were equally responsible for the incident at a busy junction near the London Bridge, but only Brushett was entitled to a payment because he had filed a claim and Hasselden did not.
Brushett, who also manages a yoga retreat, compensated £ 4,161.79 after the judge found that a 8mm scar on her lip did not hurt her "very attractive" appearance, but Hazeldean was also ordered to pay the costs of the two which is estimated to be £ 100,000.
Mr Mauger said: "Mrs Brushett and Mr Hazeldean were also responsible for this accident and Mr Hazeldean, for whatever reason, did not make a claim and only Mrs Brushett gets a payment."
The court hears that Brushett is one of the "many" people who are trying to cross the road at the beginning of the peak hour. She stared at her cell phone when she crossed the street, while the lights were green for traffic, and only found that Hezliddin was approaching the last minute.
The judge said Hazeldean was "a calm and reasonable road user" but was still responsible for paying compensation, adding: "Cyclists must be prepared at all times to behave in unexpected ways."
Hasselden, who is currently working in France, said he "unfolds" a verdict that would leave him in bankruptcy. In a statement he said: "I am, of course, deeply disappointed with the result … and worrying about the precedent that could be set for other cyclists.
"I can only hope that the focus on this case will highlight the vulnerability of cyclists, both physically and against the courts, and that it could contribute to reforming a legal system that appears to be disproportionately exposed to some road users ".
Hasselden said he realized he should have contradicted the beginning of the case, but he was reluctant to do so because he did not like the "culture of claim". He added: "If I had legal representation in the preparation of my defense, I would have taken these measures to protect myself."
Hazeldean's lawyers, Levi Solicitors, have called for an urgent change in the law to protect cyclists from expensive payments.