Record £14 million payout for injured cyclist

Commonwealth Games athlete's life devastated by speeding motorist

by Mark Appleton   September 17, 2010  

Gavel

A former road cyclist athlete whose life was devastated when he was struck by a car on a training ride has been awarded £13.7million in compensation reports the Daily Mail.

Manny Helmot, 39, represented Guernsey at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur but two months later he was fighting for his life after being hit head on by a car while out riding on his native island. Mr Helmot suffered major brain injuries, lost the use of an arm and was rendered partially blind following the collision. He spent 36 weeks in hospital and requires 24-hour care, much if it provided by his mother, Rose, who gave up her job to look after him.

The payout, which is a British record for an injury compensation payment, comes after Mr Helmot’s family sued the insurance and reinsurance companies of the car driver, Dylan Simon, who was convicted of dangerous driving.

The Helmots had appealed against an earlier award of £9.3million, and it was at Guernsey’s Appeal Court that Judge Jonathan Sumption increased the award, which must now be as a single lump sum, in accordance with local law.

Insurance company Tradex and its reinsurers had launched a counter claim against the original £9.3million payment, seeking its reduction.

Rose Helmot said after the appeal was over that while no amount of money could compensate Manny sufficiently for injuries which mean he can never work, drive or ride a bike again, her son’s future is now secure as the additional cash will provide confidence that there is enough to meet his care requirements, however long he lives.

She said: “His life is ruined, but at least we can now afford to give him the care he needs for the rest of his days. We won’t be around forever so we are pleased that we know his future is safe,”