Owner of Cycle Crash Dog Given Leave to Appeal

Judge castigates cyclists and dog owners for 'sense of entitlement'

Felix the cocker spaniel ran in front of cyclist on Acton Green
Felix the cocker spaniel ran in front of cyclist on Acton Green. Picture: Facebook


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A Chiswick woman who had previously been ordered to pay a settlement to a cyclist who had come off his bike when her dog Felix ran into his path on Acton Green has been given leave to appeal.

71-year-old publisher David Crane had tumbled over his handlebars and suffered a brain haemorrhage when forced to brake hard by the cocker spaniel as he cycled across the common in 2016. He said he had been cycling for 40 years beforehand without a mishap and denied claims he had been cycling at speed at the time.

He sued 49-year-old Carina Read for negligence arguing that she had failed to properly control Felix. She claimed the collision was a freak accident caused by the ball, that had been thrown to Felix, deviating across the path because it had struck him on the head and that she had tried to warn Mr Crane.

Mr Crane was seeking £50,000 in compensation and a previous hearing had found Ms Read at fault with Judge Patrick Andrews ruling that she should have called her dog back.

However, now Judge Alan Saggerson at the Central London County Court has granted her leave to appeal. However, according to a report in the Daily Mail, he had hard words for both cyclists and dog owners saying, “we all know that cyclists, whether on path, road or common, have a sense of absolute entitlement to do whatever they want to do and we all know that dog owners also have a similar sense of entitlement to do exactly what they want to do irrespective of anybody else. It's quite a conundrum”.

Acton Green Common: Picture: Sandy Gemmill

Judge Saggerson decided the case needed to be reconsidered because he believed Mr Crane needed to demonstrate that he was entitled to be cycling on the path. Part of Ms Read’s case was that cycling was not allowed.

The judge said, “It seems entirely feasible that the application of the argument that this was not a permitted cycle way or that at least cyclists were not permitted on this part of the path may well limit the nature and extent of the duty which someone exercising their dog with a ball in the vicinity of a path has towards somebody inappropriately using the pathway as a cyclist. “

The actual settlement to have been paid to Mr Crane was due to be determined by tribunal at a later date.

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November 16, 2021

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