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Barry v Winn, Court of Appeal

21 May 2001
The issues

Road Traffic – Infant Claimant Run Over – Liability

The facts

The Claimant was 11 years of age. He got off a double decker bus at a bus stop. He ran in front of the bus and across the road and was hit by the Defendant’s lorry. The Defendant was overtaking the bus, which was not moving and was on a dual carriageway. He was driving within the speed limit. It was found as a fact that the Claimant had stood on the pavement for a few seconds after getting off the bus and before he crossed the road.

The Judge at first instance found that if the Defendant had kept a proper lookout and anticipated the Claimant running into the road and had sounded his horn, then the accident would not have happened because the Claimant would not have run out.

The Defendant’s appealed to the Court of Appeal.

The decision

It was not open to the Judge to find that there was a risk that the Claimant would run out in front of the bus. There was no reasonably apparent possibility making it necessary for the Defendant to sound his horn. It was unlikely that the Defendant would have seen the Claimant when he got off the bus. The Judge had put too high a burden on the Defendant who could not be criticised.

Appeal allowed.

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