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Lambert v Clayton [2009] EWCA Civ 237 (20 March 2009)


The Court of Appeal held that a pickup driver, towing a cattle trailer, was not liable for a fatal accident that occurred when a motorcyclist emerged over the summit of a hill at around 80mph and collided with the rear of his trailer. The trial judge had found that the defendant was 25% liable for the fatal collision in deciding to continue with a turn once he saw the motorcyclist emerge over the summit of the hill. However, the Court of Appeal disagreed on the basis that the defendant had faced a split second decision whether to stop, swerve back into his own carriageway or go on; none of the options was a perfect solution, all had their disadvantages. However carefully the defendant was looking, he would not have realised that the deceased was travelling at an abnormally high speed.