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In a tragic and difficult case concerning the death of a 35 year old woman, Gaurang Naik assisted with securing a settlement for the family a day before trial. In this note, Gaurang explains the details of the case.
At approximately 9:00 am on 14th November 2016, a Mercedes-Benz Actros 2545LS tractor unit and semi-trailer combination, a lorry, being driven by Mr Justin Law, was travelling westbound in lane 2 (of 3) of the A1400 Southend Road approaching Charlie Brown’s roundabout, Woodford Green in London. Traffic at this time was heavy and slow moving. Mrs Sampa Das, a pedestrian, had just dropped off her youngest daughter, to school and was returning home.
About 20 metres before the give-way line there is an uncontrolled pedestrian crossing point (i.e. without signals) which consisted of dropped kerbs and tactile paving on the footways. The crossing passes through a gap in the metal railing barrier on the central reservation. Mrs Das attempted to cross a 3 lane westbound carriageway of Southend Road from its southern kerb towards the central reservation. Mrs Das moved into the road ahead of a Vauxhall car in lane 1 and proceeded into lane 2 in front of the lorry. As she crossed the road and reached the front off-side, the lorry moved forward towards the roundabout, knocking her to the ground resulting in her sustaining fatal injuries.
Liability for the incident was disputed and no offers were made prior to the trial until last minute negotiations.