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Woodham v J M Turner (t/a Turners of Great Barton) Court of Appeal (Civil Division) 20 February 2012 [2012] EWCA Civ 375

Ruth Booy acted on behalf of Mr Woodham, a gentleman who had suffered a spinal transection at T6 rendering him paraplegic. His injuries were sustained as a consequence of Ms Turner pulling out of a side road across queuing traffic as Mr Woodham was overtaking the stationary traffic on his motorbike.

Liability was strongly disputed resulting in a trial. At first instance Mr Justice Parker apportioned liability on a 70/30 split in favour of Mr Woodham. On appeal by the defendant the Court of Appeal found the judge had incorrectly appointed liability as there was no reason to differentiate between each party’s responsibility for the accident.

The liability split was altered to 50/50. The sting in the tail for the defendant was a liability offer of 50/50 made by Mr Woodham pre-issue, which resulted in the defendant paying increased costs and interest for failing to accept the offer and forcing Mr Woodham to start court proceedings.

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