A man who crashed his bike when a dog ran in front of him as it chased a ball is suing the animal’s owner for £50,000.
The Metro newspaper reports that Chiswick resident, 70 year old David Crane, was cycling through Acton Green Common on his way to work in March 2016 when cocker spaniel Felix ran in front of him. He tried to avoid the dog, but came off his bike and injured his head.
Central London County Court heard that Mr Crane, a publishing executive, went over the bike’s handlebars and hit his head, which resulted in a seizure, concussion and a brain haemorrhage. The court heard that his injuries have resulted in him suffering from loss of memory and concentration as well as headaches. It has affected his sense of taste and smell and his left ear was also damaged as a result of the crash. He says he was not cycling fast when the accident happened.
He is suing the dog’s owner, 48-year-old investment banker Carina Read, claiming that she was negligent in failing to keep the dog under control and that she should have been aware that the dog chasing a ball “with no regard for his surroundings,” might cause a cyclist serious harm.
Ms Read told the court Mr Crane should not have been riding in the park due to local by-laws forbidding it; his crash resulted from a “freak occurrence” and that she had her dog under control.
Her lawyer, Nigel Lewes, said that Ms Read had been using a “thrower” to throw balls for Felix to chase, and that she had been standing around 33 feet from the path Mr Crane was cycling on. He said: “She threw the ball parallel to the path. Felix went after the ball and it bounced off his head, deflecting towards the path.
“At that point she became aware of Mr Crane cycling at speed with his head down. She tried to warn him but Felix chased the ball and was struck by the front wheel of his bicycle.”
Mr Crane is also suing the dog-owner under the Animals Act 1972. Mr Lewers says that legislation only relates to cases involving a dangerous animal. He told the court: “Felix was not dangerous. He was running to catch a ball.”
The case was has been adjourned.
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