Injured dad to sue council over permanent brain damage

Permanent brain damage claim


A father is suing a council for more than £300,000 for a permanent brain damage claim after claiming the condition of a road caused a bike crash that gave him permanent brain damage and left him suicidal.

Michael Ayres, 45, was rushed to hospital after being found unconscious by the side of a minor country road near his home town of Prudhoe, Northumberland.

Fractured skull claim

He spent a week in intensive care with a fractured skull and broken collarbone after being thrown 2m (6ft) over the handlebars of his bicycle and landing on his head.
The father of one was riding around Stamfordham on October 1, 2003, on the B6321 between Aydon and the Military Road, Northumberland, when he hit a 15cm (6in)-high bump in the road.

He landed on his head and lay in a pool of blood until a passing cyclist discovered him by the side of the road.

Cycling accident brain damage claim

Mr Ayres, a former taxi driver, said: "Cycling was a real passion of mine. I used to cycle 10,000 miles a year in the UK. The severity and frequency of the epilepsy means I am not even allowed to drive or work. "I wouldn't give a damn about any of it if I could get back to work, but I can't work until I am seizure-free for a year and so far the longest I have gone is three months."

The council resurfaced the road on August 4, 2003, but Mr Ayres said they failed to remove or make safe a 4.5m (15ft)-long tree root that lay across the road.

He alleges workmen surfaced over the top of the root, creating the 6in bump that his bike hit.

"It was like hitting a wall head on," said Mr Ayres, who was not wearing his cycle helmet at the time of the accident.

He said: "The new surface made spotting the root impossible and also one would assume such a defect had been corrected before the new surface went down."

However, Northumberland County Council said that at the last inspection, the tree root was not there.

But Mr Ayres disputed the council's version of events, saying: "The root was bad enough to be removed on October 17, 2003, after my accident.

Solicitors acting for Mr Ayres filed a High-Court writ claiming damages for personal injuries following the accident.

A spokesman for the council confirmed that a writ had been received, but declined to make any further comment.

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