Shevlin v European Metal Recycling Ltd [2018] EWHC 1695 (QB)

Shelvin case law

In February 2014, Mr Shevlin was riding his motorcycle to work as usual on the A4 (Great West Road) in Brentford.

There were gaps in the central reservation preceded by filter lanes, allowing vehicles to leave the flow of traffic and turn right across the opposite carriageway. The speed limit for the section of road was 40mph.

Mr Burton, a lorry driver, entered one of the filter lanes and turned right crossing the opposite carriageway.

In the course of completing the manoeuvre, he cut across the path of the motorcycle causing it to collide with the lorry’s back corner. The motorcyclist suffered serious orthopaedic injuries.

Shevlin raised an action against the insurers of the company who employed the lorry driver.

During the trial, the Court heard from an accident reconstruction expert that the motorcycle would have been travelling between 55-60mph. Further, whilst at the junction, the lorry driver would have had a view of 70m, meaning the motorcycle would have been in view and was there to be seen.

The Judge found both parties to have been at fault.

The lorry driver was a professional and should not have made the right-turn manoeuvre across the busy carriageway until he knew it was safe to do so. The actions of the lorry driver were more negligent than the excessive speed of the motorcyclist.

Motorcyclist 25% to blame.         Lorry Driver 75% to blame.

Although the motorcyclist was found to be speeding, the greater duty of care was placed on the lorry driver emerging from the junction to give way to the correctly proceeding vehicles.