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Five-Figure Compensation Settlement Awarded for Car Crash Fatality

Posted: December 1st, 2015

A claim for the death of a man in a car crash has been resolved in Belfast’s High Court.

Leslie and Elizabeth Browne were driving on the B8 from Newry to Hilltown during July 2010 when they were involved in a head-on-collision with another car. The collision occurred on an infamous stretch of the B8, locally known as The Seven Sisters – so same because of a successive series of treacherous bends. The Brownes collided with a Toyota Yaris driven by Sandra Murray.

Mr Browne, who was driving the car when the couple collided with Ms Murray, sustained very severe injuries and died just a month later. Mis wife proceeded to seek legal counsel, subsequently making a claim for her husband’s death against Ms Murray. In her claim, she alleged that Ms Murray was negligent in her driving, and the crash was caused by her inattentiveness and lack of adequate driving for the conditions of the road.

Ms Murray denied any liability for the death of Mr Browne, instead claiming that she had lost control of the car because her vehicle had been hit from behind by another car, driven by Michal Marczak. Mr Marczak denied this claim, saying that there had never been any contact between his car and Ms Murray’s, stating that the crash was caused by Ms Murray’s excessive breaking – which lead her to lose control.

The claim proceeded to Belfast’s High Court, where Judge Stephens oversaw proceedings. He heard that a settlement of £50,000 had been agreed between the parties, though he was to establish liability.

Mr Justice Stephens heard of the lack of evidence pointing to contact between Mr Marczak’s and Ms Murray’s cars, and as such, he found that Ms Murray bore sole responsibility for the death of Mr Browne. He said that this was in part due to her excessive speed (it was determined that she was travelling between 27mph and 37mph), and that this combined with her excessive breaking to lead to the crash.

The judge also agreed with Mrs Browne’s claim that Ms Murray was inattentive whilst driving, saying that “I consider that it reflects the fact that the first defendant did not and does not know what happened so that she grasped at anything that might exonerate her.” Ms Murray, in addition to paying the compensation settlement, must also pay for Mrs Browne’s and Mr Marczak’s legal costs.

Categories: Car Accidents

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