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Cyclist ordered to pay compensation to woman who stepped in front of him while looking at her phone

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A judge has ruled in favour of a pedestrian who was using her mobile when she was hit after stepping out into the road.

Cyclist Robert Hazeldean will have to pay yoga instructor Gemma Brushett, 28, damages despite traffic lights being green for him.

They were both knocked out in the collision which happened in July 2015 but has only just concluded in the courts.

Another cyclist said that Hazeldean was to blame after cycling in an aggressive way and labelled him ‘arrogant and reckless’.

However, three other witnesses said that Ms Brushett was distracted and had been using her phone when she went into the road.

Judge Shanti Mauger found they were equally to blame, saying Hazeldean was a ‘calm and reasonable road user’ but added that ‘cyclists must be prepared at all times for people to behave in unexpected ways’.

As Hazeldean approached Ms Brushett at a junction to the north end of London Bridge, he sounded an airhorn to alert her to his presence. She panicked and bolted back towards a traffic island.

However, Hazeldean had swerved in the same direction and they collided.

Summing up the case and detailing why Ms Brushett should get a payout, Judge Mauger said: ‘When I stand back and ask “how did the accident happen?” it seems to me that Mr Hazeldean owed a duty to other road users to drive with reasonable care and skill.

‘Even where a motorist or cyclist had the right of way, pedestrians who are established on the road have right of way.

‘Mr Hazeldean did fall below the level to be expected of a reasonably competent cyclist in that he did proceed when the road was not completely clear.’

A court heard that even though the lights were on green for Mr Hazeldean she had right of way (Picture: Champion News) But she added that Ms Brushett’s conduct as a pedestrian must have contributed to the accident.

She said: ‘Ms Brushett must clearly have equal responsibility if she is crossing the road without looking – and if she is looking at her phone, even more so. ‘But cyclists must be prepared at all times for people to behave in unexpected ways.

‘The appropriate finding is that the parties were equally responsible and I make a finding of liability at 50/50.’

The result of the judge’s ruling is that Ms Brushett is now guaranteed a payout, but will only get half of the full value of her claim.

The figure will be fixed at a later date.


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