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Payout reduced even though truck also ran red ight

The compensation payout to the family of a cyclist killed at London's notorious Bow roundabout has been reduced because he rode through a red light — even though the lorry driver convicted of causing his death by careless driving also went through the light on red.

Brian Dorling was the first cyclist to die on a cycle superhighway when he was hit by a tipper truck driven by David Cox on October 24, 2011.

His widow Debbie Dorling described the reduction in damages as "cruel" amd hit out at the justice system for not treating the families of those killed on the roads as victims.

The Evening Standard's Ross Lydall reports that Mrs Dorling, has secured a High Court settlement from the lorry firm McArdle Group and QBE Insurance.

But the £210,000 payout was cut from £330,000 because Mr Dorling had ridden through a red light, even though the driver had done the same, and later pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving.

Mrs Dorling, 54, from Hounslow, said: “It’s not a windfall. [Brian] died aged 58. He would have retired when he was 65. It’s the amount of money he would have earned had he been alive, plus £11,200 because he did odd jobs around the house.

“It’s been docked by £120,000. I should have had £330,000. Because [Brian] broke the law, the amount of money I got was cut.

“These damages are cruel... The family of somebody who is killed on the road are not [classed as] victims. If he had been murdered or stabbed or shot, I would have been a victim. In law, Brian was the victim.”

Mr Dorling was an experienced cyclist who commuted daily from his home in southwest London to the Olympic Park in the east of the capital, where he worked as a quantity surveyor.

At the inquest into the death of Mr Dorling, the coroner heard that both the cyclist and the driver went through the red light just after it changed. Martin Porter QC, representing the family at the inquest, suggested that Mr Dorling had jumped the light to get away from away from the lorry.

Coroner Mary Hassall recorded a narrative verdict and described the design of the cycle superhighway at Bow as "an accident waiting to happen".

Mrs Dorling said she had received no counselling from Victim Support but had been supported by the charity RoadPeace.

“Nobody cares about the trauma and suffering,” she said. “It’s been a very difficult journey, and the journey still hasn’t finished.”

Lorry driver David Cox was given a six month suspended sentence last year with 100 hours of community service and a two-year driving ban.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

44 comments

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Leodis [403 posts] 1 year ago
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Shocking.

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mikeprytherch [223 posts] 1 year ago
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Its sad as this poor guy died, but I guess if he had not of run the red light he would still of been alive, so he did contribute and therefore there has to be a reduction, that's the way the law has to work I'm afraid.

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KiwiMike [1200 posts] 1 year ago
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mikeprytherch wrote:

Its sad as this poor guy died, but I guess if he had not of run the red light he would still of been alive, so he did contribute and therefore there has to be a reduction, that's the way the law has to work I'm afraid.

May I be the first to say: What a total asshat of a comment.

If he had braked, the lorry would most likely have run him over. The lorry didn't stop, and I doubt very much the lorry ran the red because he saw the cyclist do it.

But then I know as much about the circumstances as you do.

Regardless, the article focuses on how it is the victim of the CRIME that has been effectively punished here. No, 'the law' does not need to work like this. People get compensation for doing all sorts of dumb / illegal things that have unforeseen circumstances, all the time. Where blameless children/spouses are concerned, they should not become financial as well as emotional victims.

The only winner here was the insurance company, and the message sent to the HGV operating community is that your culpability is lessened if you can prove your victim was in the wrong too. What's next - less compensation because you weren't wearing thermonuclear Hi-Viz and a F1 helmet?

If his kids had been in nappies and orphaned by this HGV's illegal actions, I suppose you'd be all for slinging them into a workhouse.

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Bikebikebike [230 posts] 1 year ago
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mikeprytherch wrote:

Its sad as this poor guy died, but I guess if he had not of run the red light he would still of been alive, so he did contribute and therefore there has to be a reduction, that's the way the law has to work I'm afraid.

I guess if you had read the article or had not posted this stupid comment, then you wouldn't look like such a cunt.

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jacknorell [966 posts] 1 year ago
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mikeprytherch wrote:

Its sad as this poor guy died, but I guess if he had not of run the red light he would still of been alive, so he did contribute and therefore there has to be a reduction, that's the way the law has to work I'm afraid.

Sounds like he would have been run over regardless.

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jacknorell [966 posts] 1 year ago
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This is really messed up.

Would he have avoided the lorry if he'd obeyed the light? Or would he have been run over a few feet further back?

If the lorry came up behind him (likely) then his jumping the light wouldn't have been contributory and this should be appealed/reviewed.

This case has really bugged me from the start, and not getting better.

I feel for the family  2

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gazza_d [459 posts] 1 year ago
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It'll have very little to do with the incident specifics, and everything with a stone cold callous immoral insurance company finding the slightest wriggle room to reduce it's liability. they have shareholders you know

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truffy [653 posts] 1 year ago
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KiwiMike wrote:

If he had braked, the lorry would most likely have run him over.
....
But then I know as much about the circumstances as you do.

Yet you judge the original comment.  7

To me, what is really disgusting, is the paltry punishment handed down to the track driver.

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IanW1968 [271 posts] 1 year ago
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+1 bikebikebike

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AyBee [85 posts] 1 year ago
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jacknorell wrote:
mikeprytherch wrote:

Its sad as this poor guy died, but I guess if he had not of run the red light he would still of been alive, so he did contribute and therefore there has to be a reduction, that's the way the law has to work I'm afraid.

Sounds like he would have been run over regardless.

Why does it sound like that?

I agree with mikeprytherch, as sad as it is to acknowledge, he contributed to his own death and therefore the payout his family gets is less. Yes, it's extremely sad for his family, but why should he get a higher payout when he contributed to his own death? If he'd stopped at the red light and been runover, I'd be furious if his family weren't getting the full amount awarded.

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mikeprytherch [223 posts] 1 year ago
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I'm sorry guys but I've read the report and there is absolutely no clear evidence that if he had not run the red light he would still of been killed, the lorry only veered left into his track when it wanted to turn left, if he had stayed at the lights the lorry would likely of not of hit him as it would not of started turning, it would of turned after it had passed him, of course if the lorry was driving in the gutter then yes it would of hit him, however there is no suggestion this was the case in any evidence I have seen.

Yes I know this is subjective but so is your appraisal, I deeply regret what's happened here and I truly with all my heart feel for those effected, I am an a cyclist and I would hate to think of my family in this situation, two wrongs don't make a right and because he unfortunately paid the ultimate price doesn't take away any contributory negligence with what he did, and if some of you believe I am a c**t for having this view then so be it.

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jacknorell [966 posts] 1 year ago
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mikeprytherch wrote:

I'm sorry guys but I've read the report and there is absolutely no clear evidence that if he had not run the red light he would still of been killed, the lorry only veered left into his track when it wanted to turn left, if he had stayed at the lights the lorry would likely of not of hit him as it would not of started turning, it would of turned after it had passed him, of course if the lorry was driving in the gutter then yes it would of hit him, however there is no suggestion this was the case in any evidence I have seen.

Yes I know this is subjective but so is your appraisal, I deeply regret what's happened here and I truly with all my heart feel for those effected, I am an a cyclist and I would hate to think of my family in this situation, two wrongs don't make a right and because he unfortunately paid the ultimate price doesn't take away any contributory negligence with what he did, and if some of you believe I am a c**t for having this view then so be it.

Nah, you're not a cnut. There simply have been a few instances where the cyclist was simply run over from behind  2

Sad all around.

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KiwiMike [1200 posts] 1 year ago
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@ AyBee @ mikeprytherch :

Man did thing that millions of UK citizens and visitors do every single day, without injury or impact on others, risking no-one but themselves, namely proceed through a red light - be it controlling vehicles or pedestrians. No licence required.

Someone in an HGV did the same in a multi-ton vehicle that requires a special licence to operate, and killed him.

You think that means his wife should be effectively punished by potentially suffering financial hardship, and the vehicle's insurers should be let off paying for the convicted actions of their customer.

...and this is not a 'payout'. It's his basic salary for the shortest-possible estimation of his working life. Your use of such a term makes it sound like a compo-culture cashgrab. His wife/daughter could well be reading this, FFS.

Take a long, hard look at yourselves.

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giff77 [1251 posts] 1 year ago
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mikeprytherch wrote:

Its sad as this poor guy died, but I guess if he had not of run the red light he would still of been alive, so he did contribute and therefore there has to be a reduction, that's the way the law has to work I'm afraid.

You did read the article? What a poorly thought through comment. This tragic case would still have happened regardless of stopping for the red or not. The driver appears to have been fully intent on jumping the light. The only protection would have been a bunny hop onto the footpath. I find it totally offensive that the insurance company has obviously pushed for contributory negligence and the judge has been swayed by their influence.

Edit: and how many of us have made the decision to jump a light and breath a sigh of relief as a vehicle roars past. And even if the lorry was turning to the left, the driver still would have noticed a cyclist ahead of him before he even hit the lights. And also if the light had turned red as the lorry went through, there had been ample time to stop due to the amber.

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userfriendly [562 posts] 1 year ago
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giff77 wrote:
mikeprytherch wrote:

Its sad as this poor guy died, but I guess if he had not of run the red light he would still of been alive, so he did contribute and therefore there has to be a reduction, that's the way the law has to work I'm afraid.

What a poorly thought through comment.

You expect a thought through comment from someone who has trouble distinguishing between "of" and "have"?  29

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zanf [835 posts] 1 year ago
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If anyones interested, heres the Regulation 28: Prevention of Future Deaths report submitted by the coroner at the inquests of both Brian Dorling and Philippine Gerin-Ricard, Mary Hassell.

If you pay attention, you can read very clearly that she states she believes that Mr Dorling was lulled into a false sense of security, and misled into believing he had priority, by the shabby design of Bow Roundabout.

If Mr Dorling's widow is going to have a payout cut by over 30% then surely the HGV driver should be facing a custodial sentence for killing someone after jumping a red light?

Thats quite a clear case of death by dangerous driving.

That is before even discussing corporate manslaughter charges against (a not fit for purpose) TfL

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zanf [835 posts] 1 year ago
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userfriendly wrote:
giff77 wrote:
mikeprytherch wrote:

Its sad as this poor guy died, but I guess if he had not of run the red light he would still of been alive, so he did contribute and therefore there has to be a reduction, that's the way the law has to work I'm afraid.

What a poorly thought through comment.

You expect a thought through comment from someone who has trouble distinguishing between "of" and "have"?  29

Especially as they have no idea what Bow Roundabout is actually like:

http://youtu.be/CWbHw28AthQ
http://youtu.be/oT15kYXHxXI

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oozaveared [937 posts] 1 year ago
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gazza_d wrote:

It'll have very little to do with the incident specifics, and everything with a stone cold callous immoral insurance company finding the slightest wriggle room to reduce it's liability. they have shareholders you know

of course they do. That's how the whole legal system works. And your lawyer is likewise attempting to gain the absolute maximum compensation they can for you. This is their legal duty. It's nowt to do with morality or being nice or nasty. That's just juvenile.

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AyBee [85 posts] 1 year ago
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KiwiMike wrote:

@ AyBee @ mikeprytherch :

Man did thing that millions of UK citizens and visitors do every single day, without injury or impact on others, risking no-one but themselves, namely proceed through a red light - be it controlling vehicles or pedestrians. No licence required.

Someone in an HGV did the same in a multi-ton vehicle that requires a special licence to operate, and killed him.

You think that means his wife should be effectively punished by potentially suffering financial hardship, and the vehicle's insurers should be let off paying for the convicted actions of their customer.

...and this is not a 'payout'. It's his basic salary for the shortest-possible estimation of his working life. Your use of such a term makes it sound like a compo-culture cashgrab. His wife/daughter could well be reading this, FFS.

Take a long, hard look at yourselves.

Do you read what you write before submitting? It's a simple case of contributory negligence. Ever heard the phrase two wrongs don't make a right? The lorry did a wrong and killed a cyclist, the cyclist did a wrong and put himself in a position to be killed - therefore the cyclist, whilst getting a substantial payout, doesn't get a full payout because had he not run the red light to be there, the lorry wouldn't have killed him. It's fairly simple - I really feel for his wife and family in this case, the facts deduce that the cyclist contributed to his own death.

zanf wrote:

Especially as they have no idea what Bow Roundabout is actually like:

http://youtu.be/CWbHw28AthQ
http://youtu.be/oT15kYXHxXI

I'm staggered that you can categorically state that I know nothing about Bow Roundabout, that is superb knowledge you have there without knowing who I am....

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nuclear coffee [209 posts] 1 year ago
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Bikebikebike wrote:
mikeprytherch wrote:

Its sad as this poor guy died, but I guess if he had not of run the red light he would still of been alive, so he did contribute and therefore there has to be a reduction, that's the way the law has to work I'm afraid.

I guess if you had read the article or had not posted this stupid comment, then you wouldn't look like such a cunt.

I read the article and at no point it is contested that running the red light was a factor in his death.

In a court, that would not be enough, but here it seems like tacit admission that it was relevant, since if it wasn't - and contributory negligence was still awarded - that would be the first thing to complain about.

Moan about specifics by all means but the tone here seems to be alleging the principle of contributory negligence is wrong, because it worked out badly for them specifically. Sorry, but I disagree, and if that wasn't the intention then it was written poorly.

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KiwiMike [1200 posts] 1 year ago
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AyBee wrote:

the cyclist did a wrong and put himself in a position to be killed

Jesus wept, this attitude is just inhuman. Stop now please.

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nuclear coffee [209 posts] 1 year ago
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gazza_d wrote:

It'll have very little to do with the incident specifics, and everything with a stone cold callous immoral insurance company finding the slightest wriggle room to reduce it's liability. they have shareholders you know

Yes, they do. Expecting them to not be loyal to the wishes of those who give them money is a childish fantasy.

This is precisely why we construct elaborate legal frameworks - if all the relevant parties do their job, a fair outcome is achieved, despite many of those parties having an interest in an unfair outcome.

If the outcome was not fair, it is the fault of those supposed to keep the insurance co's lawyers in check. That is literally what they are given money for.

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Bikebikebike [230 posts] 1 year ago
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nuclear coffee wrote:
Bikebikebike wrote:
mikeprytherch wrote:

Its sad as this poor guy died, but I guess if he had not of run the red light he would still of been alive, so he did contribute and therefore there has to be a reduction, that's the way the law has to work I'm afraid.

I guess if you had read the article or had not posted this stupid comment, then you wouldn't look like such a cunt.

I read the article and at no point it is contested that running the red light was a factor in his death.

Errr...

"Martin Porter QC, representing the family at the inquest, suggested that Mr Dorling had jumped the light to get away from away from the lorry."

I should think that suggesting his running the red light to avoid the lorry is contesting that running the red light was a factor in his death.

As I'm commenting again, I'd like to reiterate: mikeprytherch is a cunt.

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KiwiMike [1200 posts] 1 year ago
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Things Never To Raise At Cyclist Dinner Parties:

helmets
hi-viz
using dual carriageways for cycling events
obeying red lights at all costs
Strava
right to shout at other 'cyclists'
collective responsibility

and now, drumroll please...

Whether your family should suffer because someone else killed you in a place you shouldn't have been at that exact moment even though they were totally at fault.

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Das [242 posts] 1 year ago
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This all confusing to me. I'm assuming the Cyclist and the lorry were on the same side of the road, going the same way? But its says the cyclist was cycling on the Cycle Superhighway which is the Blue Shell Grip lanes, yes? So ok, what was the lorry doing in the cycle highway? Red Light Jumping aside this really looks like a case of it would have happened regardless. Such a shame.

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alexb [128 posts] 1 year ago
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The government desperately needs to place the HSE in charge of regulation of the haulage industry.
The levels of fines and actions against directors where accidents occur on or near building sites is orders of magnitudes higher than on our roads, for injuries with similar impacts - except that the injured in this case are passers by, not employees.

However, the HSE does step in from time to time, then, look at the levels of fines levied.

Unsecured excavator arm swings into the path of oncoming traffic, 5 killed £500,000 fine.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/25082.stm

Fork lift driver upsets load onto lorry driver, £240,000 fine.
For example: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2014/stonehaven-firm-fined-240000-after-driver-c...

Excavator driver drops load onto pedestrian - kills him, £3750 fine.
http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2008/coilon01008.htm

Compare these to typical fines for deaths of cyclists.

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dp24 [201 posts] 1 year ago
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KiwiMike wrote:
AyBee wrote:

the cyclist did a wrong and put himself in a position to be killed

Jesus wept, this attitude is just inhuman. Stop now please.

Come on. You can't join a thread and starting arguing with people and telling them they're wrong, then describe them as 'inhuman' for stating facts about how the law works (whether you like said facts or not).

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ribena [179 posts] 1 year ago
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Here's the description from LCC

"On the first day of the inquest, the court heard that both Brian Dorling and the lorry driven by Mr Cox crossed the stop line just after the lights had changed to red.

Mr Dorling was on the left side of the lane following the blue painted 'ghost' lane which continues around the outside of the roundabout across the mouth of the exit to the A12 going north.

The lorry, which had moved in from the outside lane was heading to make a left turn at the roundabout.

The driver could not seen Brian directly and might only have had a very short time to see him in his mirrors.

The driver failed to give way to the cyclist, turning across his path, hitting him and the bike with the front-left wheels of his lorry, causing grave injuries that led to his death."

A slower cyclist would have been in the same position as Brian Dorling if they had gone through on amber.

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northstar [1108 posts] 1 year ago
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A load of bullshit, it was proven over and over again he did not ride through any red light, just the usual propaganda was repeated again and again until weak people started believing it.

I hope his family contest it as it's a load of bullshit.

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edster99 [336 posts] 1 year ago
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giff77 wrote:

Edit: and how many of us have made the decision to jump a light and breath a sigh of relief as a vehicle roars past. ..

I don't know the details of the accident and I don't pretend to.

But as for your comment : As far as I can remember, I have never made a decision to jump a light. Are you saying that it is frequently a good idea? If that is the case, are you also saying that there is never a downside - i.e a vehicle roaring past your front or rear wheel, or even t-boning you? I don't really understand your point.

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