Lawyers representing a young cyclist who staged a ‘truly remarkable’ recovery from catastrophic injuries suffered when he was knocked off his trail bike by a teenage motorist have achieved an ‘outstanding’ settlement of his case worth almost £5.3 million.
Tobias Phethean-Hubble was aged 16 and a keen all-round sportsman when his life was changed forever by the November 2005 accident in Bristol. The usually careful cyclist was hurrying home for supper, and ‘bunny-hopping’ from the pavement onto the road, when he collided with a car driven by a 17-year-old boy who had passed his driving test 12 days before the accident.
Tobias was working part-time at a solicitors' office at the time but had planned a career as a cabinet maker. He was unable to move after leaving hospital due to his catastrophic brain injuries. However, as a result of intensive rehabilitation and the devoted support of his family, he had regained some use of his limbs and the ability to walk with a frame, also resuming his hobby of shooting.
Following extensive argument on liability issues, the Court of Appeal had ruled that the teenage motorist bore 50% responsibility for the accident. On that basis the High Court approved a settlement of the case worth a total of £5,295,993. The Court noted that it was ironic that a case which had taken five years to make its way through the legal system had culminated in an approval hearing lasting just 10 minutes.
Tobias’ barrister said that he had initially not been expected to survive his injuries. She added: “It is a testament to the rehabilitation that he has had from the NHS and the considerable support of his family in very straitened circumstances that he is now able to walk and move around, although with help”.