Female pillion awarded £4m crash compensation

Insurers agree on massive sum after seven year ordeal

A FEMALE pillion whose life was ruined when she suffered massive head injuries in a motorbike crash in Italy won £4 million compensation at the High Court on Tuesday.

Beth Summers was the highly-rated 37-year-old editor of Loaded Fashion Magazine when she was involved in a horrific motorcycle accident in Milan, Italy, in January 2000.

She was not wearing a crash helmet when a motorbike on which she was riding pillion crashed. Her serious head injuries mean she will need 24-hour care for the rest of her life.

Her counsel, Mr Simeon Maskrey QC, told London's High Court one of the tragedies of the case was that, had she been wearing a crash helmet, she would have escaped any serious injury.

Crash helmets for motorcyclists had only been made compulsory a few days before the accident and the court heard the law is still "widely ignored" by teenage bikers in Italy.

Beth's solicitors sued the driver of the crashed motorbike - Thomas Stubbs, of Saltram Crescent, London - who was also in Milan for fashion week and whose insurers today agreed to settle her claim for £4 million, which will be used to fund her care for as long as she lives.

Approving the deal, Mr Justice David Clarke said: "This matter has been considered with great care and you have reached a very sensible outcome".

Beth's solicitor, Mr Eric Morris, said later: "Beth enjoys going out on trips both with family, carers and friends and particularly enjoys meals out. She also enjoys her visits each week to the local swimming pool and benefits from the exercise she has there."

Emphasising that the damages will be used to pay for Beth's care, the solicitor added: "Beth is the innocent victim of a road traffic accident which has devastated her life and the lives of those around her.

"She has however shown remarkable fortitude and determination in endeavouring to overcome her disabilities. Beth has received a huge amount of support from her devoted parents, Alan and Lesley Summers, whose input has been a key factor in the very significant progress that she has made.

"Beth's damages are held in trust for use on her behalf over the forthcoming years".

Source: Bedfordtoday.co.uk