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Ian McCalman Rankin (A.P.) v. John Jack t/a Lochill Equestrian Centre [2008] CSOH 167


Proof:- On 27 September 2005 the pursuer, an employee of the defender, sustained serious injuries when he fell under and was run over by the wheels of a tractor. In this action the pursuer sought damages from the defenders in respect of that accident. The circumstances of the accident were that the pursuer was transporting the last load of the day and opened a gate, drove through it and stopped the tractor and trailer half on the verge on a slightly downhill slope. The pursuer left the tractor to close the gate and the tractor and trailer began to move down the slope. In an attempt to gain control of the vehicle the pursuer fell under the wheels of the tractor and trailer and suffered serious injuries. It was submitted on behalf of the pursuer that that the accident happened because the trailer was overloaded and thus the parking brake on the tractor was overcome. Further, it was the fault of the defender who was responsible for the load on the trailer as the load was so excessive that it should have been obvious that the pursuer was being asked to undertake a risky journey. On behalf of the defender it was submitted that the trailer was not overloaded and the accident was caused by the pursuer's failure to apply the parking brake when he stopped the tractor on the verge. Here the court considered whether the pursuer had made out his case on a balance of probabilities in light of the evidence led.