Crippled London Colney policeman wins court battle

12:01 16 June 2010

Police

Police

Archant

A POLICEMAN left crippled by an accident just outside St Albans has been cleared of blame for his injuries.

Alexander Kotula, 27, of Norris Close in London Colney, faces a lifetime in a wheelchair following a collision in September 2006 at a roadworks site in Park Street when the-then cyclist was knocked over by a passing lorry.

Mr Kotula, who suffered post traumatic amnesia but denies riding the bike along a pedestrian corridor through the works, blames poor safety measures for the accident and over the past couple of weeks he has been fighting a claim for millions of pounds worth of damages at London’s High Court.

On Tuesday, Mr Kotula was told by a top judge that he would get 100 per cent of the assessed damages from EDF Energy Networks and its contractors, Morrison Utility Services Ltd and Birch Utilities Ltd, who all admitted their failure to maintain a pedestrian passage of one-metre width through the works.

On Tuesday Judge Simon Brown heaped all of the blame for Mr Kotula’s injuries on the three companies.

He said: “The defendants were wholly responsible for this accident in laying out a very hazardous multi-layered trap of a narrow path on a curve with kerb across it”.

During the trial, the companies claimed that Mr Kotula was partly responsible for the accident because he either negligently cycled on the pavement and through the street works, or carelessly walked through it.

But the judge said that he considered it more likely that Mr Kotula had dismounted by the time of his fall, as it would have taken an “extraordinary skilled” cyclist to safely cycle through such a narrow passage.

Mr Kotula will receive an interim payment of £50,000 while lawyers attempt to agree on the total amount of the damages payout.

0 comments

More news stories

15:00
The Nuffield Health TV advert was filmed in St Albans.

A national TV advert encouraging people to start 2017 by improving their fitness was filmed at a gym in St Albans.

12:00
Gall wasp. Photo courtesy of the Forestry Commission/Matteo Maspero

Highly destructive fungal disease and pests are attacking local trees, leaving the county council facing a bill possibly running into millions of pounds.

09:17
Nick Medlin, who was killed on Christmas Day, 2016, was highly regarded as a talented referee in St Albans

A man has denied the manslaughter of a 57-year-old prison officer at Winchester Crown Court.

06:00
St Albans Magistrates Court

Court results published by the Herts Advertiser are taken from St Albans and Hatfield Magistrates Court and are published without prejudice.

CountryPhile

BBC Farming Today's Charlotte Smith is chairing the Rothamsted forum. Photo courtesy @charlottebsmith/Twitter

A BBC presenter, who describes herself as being a ‘radio nerd’ since a teenager, is chairing a major agricultural event in Harpenden

Digital Edition

Image
Read the The Herts Advertiser e-edition E-edition
Zoo Watch CountryPhile

St Albans Sinkhole News

Saturday, December 31, 2016
Re-opening of Fontmell Close, St Alban's, AL3 5HU after repairs following a sinkhole.
Left to right: Mayor Frances Leonard cutting the ribbon with residents Ben Bagshaw and his son Finley Bagshaw 14 months old

With stories covering the likes of Bowie, Brexit, the BID, Butterfly World, The Brickyard and the Berlin Wall, it certainly hasn’t been a quiet year for the Herts Advertiser.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read stories

Local business directory

Hertfordshire's trusted business finder
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Herts Most Wanted Herts Business Awards