UK judge performs a miracle

….by making us almost feel sympathy for a cyclist, even one who has recently moved to the south of France.

A yoga teacher who stepped into the road while looking at her mobile phone has won damages from the cyclist who struck her

A yoga teacher AND a cyclist collided?

Wasn’t there an option where they both could have lost? Perhaps taking out three vegans as collateral damage?

The cyclist does seem to have acted reasonably and taken steps to avoid hitting her over and above the usual ding-a-ling and “Hey! Watch out!”:

She “panicked” and tried to dodge back to a traffic island, but the cyclist, who had been travelling at between 10-15mph, swerved in the same direction and hit her.

Mr Hazeldean had come through a green traffic light, and had sounded a loud airhorn attached to his Specialized roadbike, as well as shouting, swerving and braking in a bid to avoid the pedestrian.

Seems entirely her fault.


Judge Shanti Mauger, sitting at Central London County Court, said the cyclist was “a calm and reasonable road user” who was “courteous and mild-mannered”.

But she went on to find that Ms Brushett deserved a payout, saying Mr Hazeldean “owed a duty to other road users to drive with reasonable care and skill.” 

Which presumably means riding at a snail’s pace in case something interesting is trending on a pedestrian’s Facebook feed that morning?

It all seems a bit silly really. Roads are for vehicles, pavements are for pedestrians, and the rules when those two worlds need to meet are fairly well-established. If road users now need to assume every pedestrian is going to randomly leap out in front of them, we may have just found the secret of full employment as everyone with a vehicle hires a person to walk in front waving a red warning flag.

What about this judge, Shanti Mauger, what other cases has she ruled on recently?

How about a cleaner who received ten gees’ compensation for slipping whilst cleaning a kitchen that was dirty. No, seriously.

Can we find anything else in the public domain about this judge?

Oh, her actual name is Claire, her middle name is Shanti, and her recently-deceased Dad was a not so happy clappy yoga devotee.

Wait, what? Yoga???

Bill’s Opinion

I’m going out on a limb here but do you think that maybe Claire Shanti let her own personal feelings toward the stupid yoga teacher interfere with the requirement to provide unbiased judgement based on the facts presented and the legal precedent?

I’m no legal expert but I’d strongly suggest the cyclist might want to consider appealing the ruling.

Ommmmm. And breathe.

9 Replies to “UK judge performs a miracle”

  1. La Brushett is rather hot. I would have found for her too. Or at least be knocked out by her.

    1. Michael, do not, I repeat, do not ever get involved with non-Indian yoga teachers.

      Under that calm Om Shanti Om exterior there are all raging psychos.

      I’ve learned this lesson so that others don’t have to.

  2. You are going to hate me for saying this, but what is the legal precedence here, any links?

    I agree that the cyclist is obliged not to cause harm at law and did, maybe the precedence will help with commenting on the judges apportionment of blame.

    Plus I wanna know the damages amount, hopefully you will update us once disclosed. I wonder if the Sheila is going for costs as well.

    I did notice whilst driving in the UK recently that the average cyclist was far more bolshy than they were in prior visits. Maybe the judge is a rabid anti Marxist doing her bit to stop the slippery slide.

  3. Just had a look at this one, the poms are in meltdown about it, they love the hate articles. Braring in mind tah ttehre was a cour tsession with a judge and leag lrepressnation on boths sides, we would be best not to form a legala opion based on a pree spon artcile articel.

    Wed ont have teh trasnasations but I am sure eberybody in court had teh necessary details.

    So on teh decisons logice, teh judge was right on he rassement of teh oblitaion not to harm on the cyclist who was very lucky that she doidn’t take the otehr cyclcist recoded account of the incident showing him to be dangerous and aggresive.

    The obligation of teh cyclist not to harm teh pedestrain applies equally if the predstrian was a defa, dumb and blind, or stupid defa dn dumbblind, it doesn’t say that it os okay to harm that type of person.

    The judge did well in recognsisng that the pedestrain contibuted to teh evcent and held them equally accountable reducing her damages by 50%, a most euitable outcome.

    The cyclist being a city gent mos tprobbaly had his affaooirs in order and home and/or contenst polict that providedhim with legal liabailit ycover, He will be righ tif hge does.

    I just cheked mine today, our $20m legal libaility covers our fsmily mebvtrs forliablity for accidnetal dmages up to $20m anywhere in Austr;ia.


  4. Lat post went before I spell checked it, ignore it and read this one instead.

    Just had a look at this one, the poms are in meltdown about it, they love the hate articles. Bearing in mind that there was a court session with a judge and legal representation on both sides, we would be best not to form a legal opinion based on a short press announcement.

    We do not have the court record but I am sure everybody in court had the necessary details.

    So on the decision logic, the judge was right on her assessment of the obligation not to harm on the cyclist who was very lucky that she didn’t take the other cyclist recorded account of the incident showing him to be a dangerous and aggressive cyclist.

    The obligation of the cyclist not to harm the pedestrian applies equally if the pedestrian was deaf, dumb and blind, or stupid deaf dumb and blind it doesn’t say that it is okay to harm those type of persons.

    The judge did well in recognizing that the pedestrian contributed to the event and held them equally accountable reducing her damages by 50%, a most equitable outcome.

    The cyclist being a city gent most probably had his affairs in order and had home and/or contents insurance policy that provided him with legal liability cover. He will be right if he did.

    I just checked mine today, our $20m legal liability covers our family members for liability for accidental damages up to $20m anywhere in Australia so we are covered in this situation as well.

    Not much to see here, other than a photo that doesn’t have any relevance or if she was yoga teacher at the time of the incident either, which would not have been relevant either.

  5. who was very lucky that she didn’t take the other cyclist recorded account of the incident showing him to be a dangerous and aggressive cyclist.

    Do you have a link for that, Bardon? It’s not in the linked news article.

  6. However she relied on the evidence of another cyclist who had witnessed the crash and confronted Mr Hazeldean immediately afterwards.

    That witness had made a voice recording at the time, accusing Mr Hazeldean of “aggressive riding” and calling him “arrogant and reckless”.

    She rejected the account of the crash by the other cyclist, adding: “The other witnesses feel that the accident was Ms Brushett’s fault.”

      1. This cyclist should count his lucky stars that the judge dismissed this damming eye witnesses account and accepted the other ones instead, otherwise it was 100% damages. Of all the inner city push bike riding that I have done in the past, I never once came close to smashing into a pedestrian and knocking them out cold, this is because I took care not to and always allowed for the fact that they were irrational cattle. It might not have happened in Oz as most of us know that a Kangaroo jumps in the opposite direction it is facing when fleeing from a moving car.

        The other cyclists account that recorded his statement at the time gives me the impression that this cyclist bloke was an accident waiting to happen and this poor little yoga teacher was the one that brought him down. If anything good comes out of this, it will be for cyclists to wake up to themselves and their legal obligation not to smash into pedestrians, irrespective if they practice yoga and are not paying attention, or listening out for air horns. Other cyclists would do well to take note and check that they have legal liability cover as part of their home and contents insurance, in case they have a lapse of concentration and plough into an unsuspecting pedestrian causing them harm..

        I checked that other case that Bill linked to in the OP. Absolutely nothing wrong with the finding either based on the judges summary comment that the firm had faulty equipment that leaked oil for a very long time. The employer took this risk and then caused someone harm, the employer here were clearly the author of their own misfortune, there is no other way this could be spun.

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