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Step Forward In Battle For Justice Regarding Sutton Coldfield Man's Trail Riding Death

Lawyers Secure Vital Court Order Regarding Goodyear Dunlop Employee's Fatal Incident in Spain

08.02.2019

James Clarke, Press Officer | +44 (0)161 838 3169

The widow of a Sutton Coldfield man who died following a trail riding accident in Nerja, Spain almost three years ago has revealed her hope for answers regarding the circumstances surrounding his death after her lawyers took a step forward in their battle for justice.

Mark Sears died, aged 45, in April 2016, just hours after his trail bike left the road during a tyre product demonstration for his employer, Goodyear Dunlop Tyres (UK) Limited.

Following his death, Mark’s widow instructed Irwin Mitchell’s specialist International Serious Injury team to investigate the events that led to his death with court proceedings being brought against Goodyear in relation to the incident.

Now, more than two years after Goodyear were first requested to provide vital documentation in relation to the investigation, Mrs Sears’ lawyers have had no choice to but to request the Court’s intervention, twice, in order to obtain basic information held by the company. 

Chrissie Wolfe, the specialist international lawyer at Irwin Mitchell who is representing Mrs Sears said: 

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“Almost three years on from Mark’s death, the Sears family are understandably still attempting to come to terms with their loss.

“Following the inquest, questions remained unanswered about the circumstances surrounding Mark’s death and, after correspondence with Goodyear did not result in any further answers, we were left with no choice but to apply to Court and request that the Judge order the release of vital documents.

“We were successful at the hearing and are now focused on doing everything we can to ensure that the family get the justice they deserve regarding Mark’s tragic death.”
Christina Wolfe, Solicitor

Mark was a senior employee who had worked at Goodyear for more than 27 years when he was sent on the work trip to Nerja, Spain, in April 2016. During the trip, the group undertook an off-road trail riding day to demonstrate Goodyear tyre products to a client.

Mrs Sears said “Mark should not have been sent on this trip. He was exhausted and under a lot of stress at work. He had asked to be excused from the trip and his request was denied. It clearly carried risks.

“It was around 5pm when another rider saw Mark drift to the side of the road and fall around 15 to 20 metres. He was initially still conscious and was taken to hospital by Landrover where it became apparent that he’d suffered some major injuries.”

Mark was taken to Velez around 50 minutes away, but the hospital there did not have the expertise to treat his serious injuries so a transfer to Malaga was arranged. However, sadly his injuries were fatal. 

Mrs Sears added: “It is still hard to believe that Mark has gone and I remain completely devastated about losing him. He was a wonderful husband and father, we are lost without him.

“It has been a very difficult three years for the entire family and while nothing will ever bring Mark back, we are hopeful that obtaining more answers to the questions that we have regarding his death will help us come to terms with the loss. I cannot understand why a full independent investigation was not carried out at the time or why Goodyear has not provided the basic documents requested to help with the legal investigation.

“It is welcome that the legal battle has taken a step forward, but our wider hope is that lessons will be learned from Mark’s death. I hope that employers think twice before allowing high risk work trips such as this, in the hope that a similar incident never happens again.”

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