Mechanic wins care cash battle

Peter Corbett, from Barnsley - a former mechanic who suffered severe brain injuries and a fractured neck when he hit an ambulance parked too close to the track at a motorbike race day
Peter Corbett, from Barnsley - a former mechanic who suffered severe brain injuries and a fractured neck when he hit an ambulance parked too close to the track at a motorbike race day
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A former mechanic from South Yorkshire badly hurt when he hit an ambulance parked by a race track has won a court battle.

Peter Corbett was unconscious for three months following the crash and needs daily assistance for life because of his injuries – he suffered severe brain injuries and a fractured neck in the accident.

Lawyers at Sheffield-based Irwin Mitchell took his case for damages to the Royal Courts of Justice in London, to help secure the hundreds of thousands of pounds Mr Corbett needs for care and rehabilitation.

The 54-year-old, from Pogmoor, Barnsley, was taking part in a motorbike and sidecar race event at a track at Rowrah, Cumbria, in 2006, when he hit an ambulance, which a judge ruled was parked too close to a corner and was unsafe. Mr Justice King, sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, ruled Cumbria Kart Racing Club, the owners of the race track, and Tracksport Challenge, who were running the race day, should have taken greater precautions to protect riders.

Irwin Mitchell lawyers argued the ambulance was parked in a dangerous place too close to the track and was a hazard to any riders.

The judge agreed there was no good reason for the ambulance to be there and found the defendants’ approach to assessing the risks posed to competitors by having the ambulance on the field was ‘casual, haphazard, disorganised and uncertain’.

Kate Petchey, of Irwin Mitchell, which has its headquarters based on Millsands, Sheffield city centre, said: “The decision means that we will now be able to work with Peter to help him get the specialist support and rehabilitation treatment he needs to improve his life and to gain as much independence as possible.”